The University Episcopal Community (UEC) is a campus and young adult ministry that meets in Minneapolis. Together, these young adults navigate the post-high school transition while developing a sense of self and purpose in the world. They’re committed to using their gifts to build a strong community and to participate in God’s work in the neighborhood.
As they seek to live out these commitments, they have also felt a call to create experiences that welcome a wider group of people into the liturgical practices that are a part of the Episcopal tradition that they love. To bring these people together and craft an experience that makes the liturgical tradition accessible to all, the UEC set about planning a Stories for Change event.
Stories for Change uses storytelling as a proxy for traditional liturgy, making liturgical practices accessible without the theological language. The UEC partnered with ECMN affiliate Circle of the Beloved, and Andrew Riverside Presbyterian intentional community to plan the event. These two partners both focus on creating intentional living experiences for young people of faith, and both are new this year.
Stories for Change brought together over 35 people to listen to 6 storytellers share a story on the theme of being hungry and being fed. Attendees had the chance to listen to stories ranging from visiting family in Liberia for the first time, to discovering feminism through pizza to an adoptee meeting his biological family. They had opportunities to discuss and meet new people. Stories for Change also provides an opportunity to raise funds for an organization related to the theme. They chose to donate to Soup for You, a restaurant that serves soup for free in South Minneapolis.
Not only was this the most successful event that the UEC has ever planned, it also created excitement and deepening connections for all those involved. Meeting new people, practicing skills of storytelling and deep listening and participating in a style of gathering that was fresh and new has created a sense of momentum for the group that will propel them to continue to plan and expand these events.
Planning is easy and the connection experienced at these events are deep. If you’d like to learn more about how you or your faith community could plan a Stories for Change event, contact your Missioners for Youth and Young Adult Ministries, Steve Mullaney.