Relatively new to St. Peter’s, I made the pilgrimage to Kanuga for the Parish Retreat weekend. Finding Jesus in our Stories was our retreat’s theme for 2016. As I descended from the foothills following a spectacular Sunday morning Eucharist at Kanuga’s majestic Chapel of the Transfiguration, I pondered where Jesus was in the many stories I was fortunate enough to hear from folks I’m honored to call friends.
Stories are poignant because they help to define how each of us came to be who we are today. They creatively capture some meaningful occurrence along our journeys, and collectively stories mold souls into total uniqueness. They inform us of how we might live; of how we might love; and of how we might potentially see the world and our spaces within it as something grander—something holier. Stories invite souls to consider the possibilities that life, and life everlasting, may offer.
I’m so appreciative of the candor of experiences shared, and of the compassionate listening I observed, during our weekend-long storytelling time at Kanuga. I was reminded that, though my particular story is my own, along the journey I’m among friends with stories of their own. And, I’m delighted to return with a few more really good tales to tell.
Jesus dwelled within and among parishioners through our stories. Storytelling, a bold act of fellowship, offers a window into one’s soul not otherwise discernible. Kanuga-style fellowship, then, reminds us of the gifts possible when we reveal ourselves to one another. Our blessed spiritual home reminds us of the same through prayerful liturgies and deep personal reflection. Our collective stories, varied and colorful as they are, make St. Peter’s who we are. As God’s people, may the storytelling continue wherever we may be, and whoever’s company we may be among.
By Parishioner Walt Hutchinson