Sharing Stories of Mission Locally & Globally
Invite a Missional Storyteller to Your Congregation
Western Iowa Synod has Missional Storytellers who are willing to come to your congregation and share stories about various mission opportunities and ways your congregation can participate and share these stories as we all work together in the mission that God calls us to!
Our Synod's mission interpreter coordinator is Barb Brennan. You may contact her at 712-260-3364 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of my goals is to supply stories. My pledge to you is to find a story about a certain ministry that you want to lift up. Another goal is to have a Mission Interpreter in every congregation to share stories as a way to inform our members of the amazing difference we make giving of our time, talents and treasures.
Seek out someone in your church who can be a Mission Interpreter (storyteller) alongside you or someone who can support you by being your listener and someone to encourage you.
Mission Interpretation (Storytelling)
We are a church that believes God is calling us into the world — together. As members of the ELCA, we use our time, talents and resources to do God’s work in the world. How do we share the stories of our gifts at work? We share these stories through the ministry of mission Storytelling as we call it in the Western Iowa Synod. A variety of communication tools and a network of trained leaders make this possible.
Mission storytelling helps congregations understand God’s work performed together in our congregations, the community and beyond. When people understand their identity as partners in a larger church, they become stronger advocates in supporting mission and ministry, growing as stewards.
Mission-minded congregations are growing in participation and spirit. The following communication tools can aid mission interpretation in your congregation:
Did You Know?
Your financial generosity is changing lives! Your weekly offering support the mission and ministries of the ELCA in the United States, the Caribbean, and more than 90 countries around the world.
Sharing the Stories
Mission Interpreters can share stories to one person at a time, in small groups, and in larger groups. Stories can be told by Mission Interpreters in a variety of ways and each Mission Interpreter can to do it however they are most comfortable. Work with your pastor to develop a plan for telling the stories. Some possible ways are as follows:
Missional Storyteller Newsletters are offered monthly (below) in both word and PDF format for your convenience. Feel free to copy and paste stories to your congregation's newsletter, website, bulletin, etc to continue to share the story of the mission that is happening in and around the synod and world.
December 2019 Newsletter
Eduardo, at 14, the oldest child in his family, which lives in Huehuetenango, Guatemala, and his father went to the U.S., both seeking work. While the journey was grueling and frightening, they made it to the U.S. border where they were separated, and Eduardo’s father was deported to Guatemala. After six months alone in a shelter with no one who spoke his language – and he couldn’t speak Spanish or English – he fell and hurt his back. All he wanted to do was go home, and he asked to be sent back. It was a long process, but after returning home, Pop Noj, an AMMPARO companion in Guatemala, helped him reintegrate into his community, get the medical attention he needed, including getting glasses, and re-enrolled in school. He has no desire to ever leave again. @elca.org, AMMPARO, 40 stories for 40 day Bible and prayer chellenge
November 2019 Newsletter
Currently, WIS is only supporting SACCOS in the Southern Diocese. Sophia and Silvia are women in the St. Paul’s Synod companion synod, Iringa Diocese. Stories came from the Iringa Hope Visit 2018.
Sophia is 32 years old and has been a member of the AMCOS for one year.
She has three children. Her children are two boys, 16 and 13, and one girl, 10.
Sophia farms five acres of maize, sunflowers and groundnuts. Of the five acres, two acres are owned and three acres are rented. So far, she has used local seed and has used manure as fertilizer.
She said that the AMCOS has been very helpful, helping her to understand better farming practices. She intends to begin using hybrid seeds and organic fertilizer. She says that she and her husband farm together and contract for the use of oxen to plow the land.
August 2019 Newsletter
(Guest chef, Courtney, teaches apprentice Jorge how to slice chicken)
BIG DREAMS FIGHT HUNGER
Inspired by the creativity and bold thinking of anti-hunger ministries in the church, ELCA World Hunger launched the Big Dream Grants program to support ministries that are building and designing innovative and lasting solutions to hunger, poverty and economic inequality. The one-time Big Dream award payments range from $10,000 to $75,000. This year, five ministries across the country received a total of $250,000.
One awardee, Farming Hope in Palo Alto, Calif., works to transform lives and rebuild communities through transitional employment and culinary training to people experiencing homelessness. Its apprentices learn food-preparation and urban-farming techniques, and other skills that can be transferred to a variety of work contexts.
The Big Dream grant will help Farming Hope open a second community café, which will enable it to train more apprentices and host more community events.
“Relationships are a critical piece in transformational structural change,” said Jamie Stark, co-founder and executive director of Farming Hope. “This space will be a place for that—for communing together, side by side.”