Stories Tell the Truth

Smith, Carl R. “Stories Tell the Truth.” Congregations: The Alban Journal 22(1):10-13, January-February, 1996.

Carl Smith relates in “Stories Tell the Truth” that a congregation’s theology emerges from the stories members tell about parish life and ministry. Congregational visitors enter the church by means of the church’s stories, for stories say, “Here is the kind of people we are.” Smith cites Episcopalian priest and researcher James Hopewell to contend that a congregation’s self-perception is primarily narrative in form, and that members communicate among themselves mainly through stories. Smith believes that stories are valuable for teaching new members about the church and what it believes as well as for bridging the divide between congregations of different denominations.

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