Something that I have particularly enjoyed about my J-term class, Building and Inclusive Church, is the exercise in storytelling. Throughout the week we have had to create three different and short stories about our call, an achievement by a group of people that we are a member of such as but not limited to our home congregations, and how to present the challenge of inclusion and full participation of all people to this group of people. I could probably describe it better, but this was my very basic understanding of it.
I really appreciated this element of the course because it has forced me to a defining moment for my call, which I have never really explored before. I have negative occurrences in my life that have pushed me to become a pastor so that I might work against those forces and I have had many reaffirming experiences of my call, but I had a hard time identifying where my call really came from. I had to examine myself.
I also discovered that I have an overwhelming amount of negative feelings towards a particular group of people who demand more positive feelings in my life. It is now my turn to express positive feelings and to work on making positive future memories with this group of people.
I have had to question who I am as a person called by God and others as well as why I feel the way I do about certain groups or decisions that have affected me in my journey to seminary. I can’t believe how this course had made me think of these things in the span of a week and has begun a transformative process of recognizing that I do have a story to tell, but what are the elements of that story and why are they there. For this challenge and opportunity to define these things, I am truly grateful.