Thanks to Michelle Palmer of Building Faith for sharing this Great Idea. It’s a year old, but still timely!

Palmer cites Brené Brown as saying the two most powerful words we can hear when we are struggling are, “Me too!”

As youth experience depression, anxiety, grief, fear and isolation at historic levels, churches can be a place to share their stories, find belonging, and move toward healing from the past several years of varied traumas.

Palmer was inspired by this New York Times article, which gave voice to thousands of teens “articulating their pandemic experiences through poetry, prose, and art”. She used the article itself to spark the interest and get story-telling juices flowing among her youth.

Read her whole post here.

You might invite participants to bring their own journal, or provide them with one specifically for this form of reflective writing – and use it more than once! Be sure to include plenty of time for sharing the stories that are written, drawn, recorded. This is an essential part of the activity.

You can utilize the exact same approach with any age-group. This would make a fantastic intergenerational activity. It can be repeated many times throughout the year, as well:

  • use it to check in with one another at regular intervals
  • share it as a getting-to-know you activity
  • develop a regular feature in worship in which stories are shared
  • turn it into a podcast inviting different people to share their stories throughout the year

For more ways to encourage a sense of belonging – among those who already belong and as outreach to welcome new people to the community – watch for our Belonging Blue Whirl Webinar Series – coming this fall!!