Interfaith Story Circle

How it
Works

Welcome to the Interfaith Story Circle!

The mission of our story circle is to build bridges of interfaith understanding – person by person, and story by story. We’d like to tell you what to expect at our circles – particularly in the era of Zoom. Please make sure you have downloaded the Zoom application on the device you will be using and arrive on time.

Storytelling, like other performance arts, depends on the energy exchanged by the teller and the listeners. Therefore, even when we are not gathered in person, it is our preference to see you and know who you are. We might ask you to briefly introduce yourself, your location, and if you wish, any spiritual community you are affiliated with.

We usually open and close the meeting with a prayer, poem or reflection.  Our guest storyteller will usually have the first 20-30 minutes to share stories on the circle’s theme.

Our listeners are invited to be storytellers!  We all enjoy listening, and some of us may be moved from time to time to share a personal or a traditional story – planned or unplanned, up to 10 minutes please. Very often, stories bring forth other stories, which greatly enrich our circle when given a voice. So don’t be surprised if you find that you have a story to tell. Don’t be shy; a story given life through telling is often as much a gift for the teller as for those who hear it.

We don’t clap, discuss or comment on the stories. We move from story to story, sometimes with a bit of silence in between. To show our appreciation, we rub our hands together quietly. This works nicely on Zoom!

We are glad you have chosen to be with us. Sit back, relax and ready yourself for the pleasure, inspiration and wisdom that can come with the telling of each tale!

If you’d like to receive occasional e-mail reminders of upcoming programs, please be sure to let us know at ifsc@withourvoice.org

We’d love to have you host!

If your religious or cultural community is interested in hosting one of our gatherings, please contact us at ifsc.committee@withourvoice.org .

 

“Special People and Special Place! Interfaith Story Circle gives you an opportunity to join and walk together with faith and compassion.”

~Suman Joshi 

Opening Prayers

I bow to the one who signs the cross.
I bow to the one who sits with the Buddha.
I bow to the one who wails at the wall.

I bow to the OM flowing in the Ganges.
I bow to the one who faces Mecca,
whose forehead touches holy ground.

I bow to dervishes whirling in mystical wind.

I bow to the north,
to the south,
to the east,
to the west.

I bow to the God within each heart.

I bow to epiphany,
to God’s face revealed.

I bow.  I bow.  I bow.
~Mary Lou Kownacki, O.S.B.

The following prayer was inspired by Megan McKenna’s chapter on Words in Israel’s tradition in her book “Keepers of the Story” (Orbis Books, 1997). McKenna says according to the Hasidic tradition, God created man and woman because he was lonely and wanted to tell HIS stories to us. Also, that whenever people gather to tell stories, even God comes to listen. God is enchanted by our stories. In fact, the Rabbis tell us that one of the ways that God keeps holy the Sabbath, the day of rest, is by studying the Torah. Then he prays and looks for stories to listen to and eavesdrops on those who tell!

Closing Prayer

Lord, we are thankful for the stories..

for those who have told ..
those who listened…
and those who have been prompted to tell in return.
for all those present who have helped us to….

celebrate the richness and diversity of our traditions…
discover that which we hold in common……
connect with each other in “mind and heart”..
by sharing our stories….
sharing the “Light”

~Gert Johnson