Bible stories come to life in new way at Morristown’s Redeemer

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Worship services at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Morristown are getting a dramatic facelift — with emphasis on the dramatic.

Drawing on its long tradition of regularly hearing members share stories of their life journeys from the pulpit, Redeemer has created a Season of Sacred Story. From Aug. 5 though Sept. 30, services are featuring the dramatic storytelling of members’ favorite Bible stories each Sunday.

Frank Lampert-Hopkins gives a dramatic presentation of James Weldon Johnson'€™s "€œThe Creation" for the Season of Sacred Story at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, Morristown. Judie Dickerson photo

Storytellers from the parish will recount stories such as the Samaritan woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery, the widow of Nain and the crossing of the Red Sea. This dramatic approach hearkens back to the first century, when people did not read Bible stories but rather told them and heard them again and again. Storytellers adapted their narrative to new situations and different audiences and made the stories their own. In similar fashion, Redeemer storytellers will provide a fresh slant to these Bible stories in this new season.

“During one of our Easter services, we told stories about the Church of the Redeemer and pivotal moments in our history,” said the Rev. Cynthia Black, rector of Redeemer. “What I realized then was how important it is to know the stories of our faith – all of them – so I encouraged the worship committee to dream about a season of biblical storytelling. It gained momentum very quickly.”

“To be human is to be a part of a story, and in some way each of us is a storyteller. We’ve been telling stories since the beginning of time. What’s different about this season for Redeemer is that we are focusing in a much more intentional way on the great stories of our Judeo-Christian heritage.”

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