Stories are powerful extensions of who we are. They engage a com-munity in a powerful, humanistic way. Stories enliven sermons, move people to action and make presentations interesting. We each have our own unique story to be unraveled, and by sharing them with others we help shape com-munities, strengthen others and provide a valuable roadmap for others to follow. The best story of all is the one that Jesus has told, and this January at the 2020 Bishop’s Clergy Convocation, pastors will be able to develop into better storytellers, learn how to use stories with the congregation and help others learn how to tell their story. It will be fun, engaging and you will leave with a set of skills to enrich your ministry.
The 2020 Convocation will feature a workshop from the Peabody Award-winning organization, The Moth. The Moth’s storytellers will work with clergy in small group sessions and one on one to shape stories to make them powerful testimonies to faith and transformation.
“I could not be more excited about our clergy convocation. The Moth has been one of the most creative organizations at helping people tell stories and move hearts and minds,” said Bishop John Schol.
Since its launch in 1997, The Moth has presented thousands of stories told live and without notes. The Moth is renowned for the great range of human experience, and storytellers explore themes in often unexpected ways. Bishop’s Clergy Convocation will provide the opportunity for each pastor to develop his or her own story under the guidance of a Moth facilitator, culminating in a showcase of the best stories shared on the Convocation stage.
The Moth has been honoring and celebrating the diversity and commonality of human experience by creating a space for people to share their stories–all 35,000 stories to date, in 30 cities worldwide. It produces approximately 600 live shows each year. It also runs storytelling workshops for high school students, teachers, adults and advocates from around the world through its Education, Community and Global Programs.
The Moth Podcast is downloaded over 72 million times a year, and each week, the Peabody Award-winning The Moth Radio Hour, produced by Jay Allison at Atlantic Public Media and presented by PRX, The Public Radio Exchange, is heard on 500 radio stations. The Moth has published three critically acclaimed books — international bestseller The Moth: 50 True Stories (2013), All These Wonders: True Stories about Facing the Unknown (2017) and The New York Times Best Seller, Occasional Magic: True Stories About Defying the Impossible (2019).
Moths are often associated with transformation and personal growth, given the metamorphosis they take during their lives and the sheer determination to reach the light. Like a moth, Bishop’s Clergy Convocation is a forum for transformation, a time when clergy get the opportunity to learn and grow. Following the last convocation, one attendee said, “I took away things that will change how I will live and pursue my life and ministry differently.”
Bishop’s Clergy Convocation is held each year to provide GNJ clergy a chance to retool, reconnect and refresh themselves for ministry. Each year, Bishop John Schol invites innovative teachers and leaders to expand the way clergy think about their ministry. In addition to the teachings, Convocation offers time for clergy to connect with their peers and enjoy time away. Spouses and families are encouraged to attend as well.
Clergy are invited to attend the 2020 Convocation January 13-15 at the Ocean Place Spa and Resort in Long Branch. Congregational leaders are encouraged to support their pastors by gifting the cost of Convocation as a part of their love gift at Christmas or offsetting the cost out of the church budget.
To find out more about Convocation go to: www.gnjumc.org/bishopsconvocation20