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Writing a hopeful story

Welcome to 2021. We trust this will be a year of hope and health for your community.

Have you heard about the concept of a ‘framing story’? A framing story can provide direction, shape values, inspire a vision and provide a structure to make sense of life. It tells people “who they are, where they come from, where they are, what’s going on, where things are going, and what they should do.”1

In western society, one’s framing story might be about personal achievement, financial gain or consumerism. So how does being a Christ-follower shape your framing story?

If “our framing story tells us that we are free and responsible creatures in a creation made by a good, wise, and loving God, and that our Creator wants us to pursue virtue, collaboration, peace, and mutual care for one another and all living creatures, and that our lives can have profound meaning if we align ourselves with God’s wisdom, character, and dreams for us . . . then our society will take a radically different direction, and our world will become a very different place.”2

Father Richard Rohr calls this a “hopeful story” where we “imagine ourselves creating conditions in which peace and well-being are not only possible but normal, and in which inevitable conflicts can be resolved through justice, kindness, wisdom and love.”3

At Christmas, we celebrated that hope has come in Jesus – Immanuel, “God with us”. As we move into this new year with continuing physical and social restrictions and the reality that many of the world’s people are reeling with sickness, fear, grief, loss and suffering, your church can be a hopeful story in your community.

Our Church Support Team are busy creating new ways to support you to share a framing story of hope, health and healing, as you celebrate God’s presence and demonstrate God’s love for humanity in your community in an ever-changing global context. 

Our first offering is an introductory 6-hour online course titled ‘Be Care’ which seeks to further equip your church to grow its health and pastoral care ministry and meet today’s challenges. This course is free and available at our new Community Learning Hub which is OPEN NOW and ready for you to use. The course can be taken as an interested individual, or in a small group or ministry team.  See the next section for an outline of the first 3 topics available now. We will be adding new e-learning content every month.

Joanna, Anne, Vicky, and Rachael

P.S –  Click here for a short Devotion ‘There’s a water lily in your pot’ to reflect on a year that didn’t go to plan.

References

  1. Brian D. McLaren, Everything Must Change: Jesus, Global Crises, and a Revolution of Hope (Thomas Nelson: 2007), 5–6 cited in Richard Rohr, A new framing story, Monday January 11th 2021
  2. Ibid page 67
  3. Richard Rohr, A hopeful story, Tuesday 12th January 2021
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