Holiness in our midst – Session 37

Holiness in our Midst


“Books find you.” That has long been the assertion of a friend of mine. So, whenever we meet, she asks, “What book(s) have found you recently?” My current answer is a valuable book for storytellers, Dancing with Words: Storytelling as Legacy, Culture and Faith by Ray Buckley. I am also studying a companion resource guide for group leaders by the same author, Lay Readers Tell Stories: Advanced Course. Buckley, a Native American, highlights how storytelling has preserved culture and values in Native, African, Jewish, Aboriginal, Appalachian Mountain, and Hispanic traditions. He also shares why he feels storytelling has been in decline. Hoping to revive the art, he compiles a wealth of information about storytelling techniques as well as stories that illustrate them. Topics covered include: The Making of a Storyteller; Key Elements of Public Speaking; Adapting to Your Audience; Preparing Yourself for the Story; Butterflies and Bats: Being Scared; Digital Storytelling; Where Do Stories Come From?; Stories and Faith; The Role of the Spirit; and Pragmatics: Telling the Story. The guide to Dancing with Words features exercises that encourage personal and Bible stories. Both resources would benefit individuals and groups wanting to dig deeper into storysharing.

An excerpt from Dancing with Words:

My grandfather would say that God has hidden stars to surprise us. He delighted in cutting apple cores in half and pointing out the star-shaped places where the seeds lived. He would break a small branch of cottonwood at the joint and show me the star. “There are starfish and star fruit and star anise and stars just about everywhere”, he would say. God is pleased, he believed, when we find the hidden stars… Storytellers look for stars in unexpected places. (Page 41)

STORY CIRCLE PROMPT: Share about a book you are currently reading.


  1. Read the above reflection.
  2. Write a journal reflection about a book that recently “found you.” What is it teaching you?


  1. Read aloud Session XXXVII.
  2. Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Prompt.