From the feedback after the publication of Kevin Treston’s Telling Our Faith Stories, it seems that readers generally are being stimulated to reflect on the winding paths of their own faith journeys, discoveries, new insights and reframing of perspective. Kevin has kindly offered the following guide to the process for doing this:
TELLING OUR FAITH STORIES: MY STORY AND YOUR STORIES
WITHIN THE GREAT STORY OF THE UNIVERSE
A READING GUIDE
You have a copy of the book. From your experiences of reading such a book, you have your own approach to how best to appreciate the book. The book is less about information but more about faith and life enhancement. The following suggestions from the author may help you in better accessing the focus of the book.
- The author encourages you to reflect on your own faith journey using the personal story genre style where the author tells some significant features of his own faith journey while inviting you to invite memories and questions about your own faith journey eg. When he speaks about journeys which influenced his faith journey, you will be invited to recall memories of significant journeys and people who shaped your own faith journey.
- You will notice recurring questions such as, ‘What changes have emerged in your faith journey throughout the previous thirty years? (p 90). Suggestion: pause and reflect on the questions. That process is the point of the book – to help readers to recall, name and celebrate the mysterious occasions of grace and enlightenment in one’s life.
- The book does not intend in any way to summarise in any depth key contemporary trends in church life today. Useful resources are listed if readers so choose to follow up on topics of interest. However, several of these movements are named to alert readers of significant developments of the Spirit in church life within an unfolding universe eg. How church teachings are being reviewed (eg the doctrine of original sin), how the Christ Story is celebrated within God’s evolving revelation throughout all time, full inclusion of women, the centrality of the reign of God in the teachings of Jesus, synodality, renewal or refounding? the universalism of Christ within the whole of creation, responses to critical justice questions, clergy/laity dualism etc.
- Our First Peoples have so much to teach us how to live within a bounteous creation.
- A fundamental premise in the book is that the church is entering a Third Great Epoch in its 2000 – year- old history and the new paradigm of evolutionary consciousness, especially emanating from quantum physics, cosmology, modern science, information technology, connectivity with the whole world, all these movements invite, even demand, the reframing of the Christ Story within this Great Story of the Universe. Readers are asked, ‘Where does that leave you in living your Christian faith now?’ ‘How is your faith story evolving? ‘What is happening?’
- A core question which permeates the book is ‘What is a spirituality now that energises you on your faith journey?’ At the conclusion of the book, the author shares his two loadstars for spirituality: the quest for ‘life in abundance’ and the ‘oneing’ (Julian of Norwich).
- The book would be a useful resource for a small faith sharing group.