Journey of Discovery
On Sunday, February 28, 2016 the people of St.
Timothy’s began their Journey of Discovery.
The Rev. Rebecca Nickel had prepared a
striking time line with a number of photo illustrations for this day’s
portion of the Journey of Discovery. This timeline not only covered the
years St. Timothy’s existence, but also that of its predecessor (St.
George’s, Indianapolis), the Diocese of Indianapolis, the founding of
the Episcopal and Anglican Churches, Christianity in England, and the
birth of Jesus of Nazareth. The timeline hung on one wall of Craine
Hall, where worship was held. This timeline will remain in place
throughout the entire Journey of Discovery.
Anticipating visitors, The Rev. Dr. Nancy
Woodworth-Hill, who was both the celebrant and activity leader, began
the service by asking if there were guests. Two guests identified
themselves as such and were told that today was not the typical Sunday.
They were welcome to remain, but we would understand if they made the
decision to return next week. They chose to stay, as did a priest (who
is on a mini-sabbatical) and her family.
82 Adults and 12 Youth were present for a
combined worship service and intentional time for adding stories to a
time line. The worship service was slightly shortened to provide a
longer period (at the usual sermon time) to comfortably engage the
congregation in storytelling. Working in groups of four to six,
parishioners were invited to tell of their time at St. Timothy’s using
Mutual Invitation while following R.E.S.P.E.C.T guidelines (each
parishioner had access to a copy, see below). Each story was written on
one sticky note. As expected, the energy in the room increased as
parishioners engaged this activity.
Nancy noted that there are many kinds of
stories, "the good, the bad and the ugly" and that they are all
important stories. She asked that if anyone had a "bad or ugly" story
that needed to be told, to please do one of two things: tell what they
learned from the experience, or tell what they wish had happened. She
made this request so that the story-telling would be appreciative, not
draining energy and hope from the teller’s group. At least one such
story was posted to the timeline. She also provided a number of
"teasers" to illicit stories (see below).
When the stories had been told, and sticky
notes prepared (placed on the timeline after worship ended), the worship
service continued. A delicious chili luncheon followed the worship
Many people were energized by this first
event, telling Nancy they are looking forward to the next event on this
Journey of Discovery.
R = take RESPONSIBILITY for what you say and
feel without blaming others.
E = use EMPATHETIC listening
S = be SENSITIVE to differences in
P = PONDER what you hear and feel before you
E = EXAMINE your own assumptions and
C = keep CONFIDENTIALITY
T = TRUST ambiguity, because we are not here
to debate who is right or wrong.
This process shares the responsibility of a
conversation across all members of a group.
- One person shares first (telling their story)
- This person invites a second person to share their story (not
necessarily the person sitting next to them)
- The second person invites a third person.
- If you are not ready to share,
- You may say "I pass for now" OR "pass"
- You still invite the next person to share.
- You will be invited to share later.
- When you are not speaking, you are invited to listen. (the hard
part is not to think of a response, or plan what you will say, but
to actively listen)
- You may take time at the beginning of your turn to gather your
Can’t think of a story?
- What was it that let you know you wanted to be a part of St.
- Tell a story of a kindness that happened here.
- Who invited you? Who welcomed you? Who did you invite? Who have
- What do you love at St. Timothy’s?
- Tell of a time when a sacrament was meaningful.
- Tell about working on a project with someone or for someone.
- Tell about learning something (a sermon, a class, a
- Tell about using your gifts, talents and/or skills at St.
- Tell about something amusing, funny, sad or touching that
happened at St. T’s.
- Tell a story about a member you admire.
- Tell a story about something recent, or long ago.
- Tell a story that you first heard that was told by someone who
is no longer here.
- Tell a story of how you grew, or learned an important lesson
about God or yourself here at St. Timothy’s.