Dear First Church family,
In 2018, FUMC will launch our community autobiography project, Bolder than The State of Texas: Stories and Conversations on Living Faith. Drawing on our congregational value of Storytelling, this project will gather narratives of the people of First United Methodist Church. We hope to explore our community’s life-story, how we, by the grace of God, grow out of our past into our present. By telling our faith community’s life story, we hope to share how, as David Benner explains, “faith is more of a verb than a noun. It is our way of being in the world, our way of relating to life.”
Facilitated by Caroline Jones and Amy Wink, this project will collect individual narratives, from the youngest members to the oldest, to relate the life story of our spiritual community. Our goals are to retain the cultural memory of this 177-year-old church, to share our community of living faith, and to discover what it means to live our faith. In addition to our written stories, we plan to share and preserve the oral stories of our community through StoryCorps. We’ll also highlight the theme of story in worship this summer and fall, focusing first on God’s story, the Bible, and then turning to highlight a few of our own stories of faith.
With the congregation’s help, Caroline and Amy will offer writing prompts to develop the stories we want to share and questions we want to ask. Because this is a congregation-driven project, we also need everyone to suggest questions and prompts for exploration. What have you always wondered about our history, our members, or our role in the greater Austin (or United Methodist) communities? Together, we will provide the ultimate shape of the project. Caroline and Amy will lead monthly writing workshops as we put our ideas, questions, and stories into concrete form.
We welcome everyone to engage in this project and let the Life of this church speak. If you are interested in contributing, volunteering to help, or if you would like to find out more, please contact Caroline Jones and Amy Wink at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also submit your story online at fumcaustin.org/storysubmission.
This is going to be fun!
Rev. Taylor Fuerst
Rev. Michael Mumme
Rev. Cathy Stone