Today is a first - a blog on location coming to you live - well Sunday lunchtime from Greenbelt. Yours truly is again a member of the Safeguarding team.
I've sought shade in the Foundry cafe and our President Rev Dr Barbara Glasson is leading a session on storytelling. People in the tent are now reading their own stories composed over the last few minutes. Barbara facilitates the Survivor's Advisory Group and often encourages us to think about the stories we tell about our lives and experiences as we move the agenda forward.
When we work with both survivors and perpetrators we often ask people to tell their stories. How they got to the place they now find themselves. What happened, where and when and perhaps a stab at why. Having a life story helps to make sense of our journey and also helps us to present a version to friends, relatives and onlookers.
This is not meant to be an attempt at rationalisation or justifying some sorts of behaviour that we should not be proud of. Neither should it be a means simply of eliciting sympathy. Storytelling is about sharing an honest, deeper truth about ourselves that can help others with their own journey through life. Reflecting aboriginal tradition Barbara is now talking about songlines, and asking the audience what our Methodist songlines might be. The stories that reveal the history and deeper truths of our world.
For people adversely affected by safeguarding concerns, having a personal story is also part of the healing process. As we start our new Methodist year it's a great time for us all to refresh our story and look forward to what lies in store, whatever uncertainty you might perceive.