Vol 1 No. 15 Telling Stories

I came to this task and calling as Executive Minister with a passionate commitment to find God’s story as His activity is made known amongst us. I promised to find those stories and find as many ways as possible to tell them. I am committed to these stories for two “clusters” of reasons. The first cluster is that telling stories of God’s presence reminds us of his faithfulness, causes us to worship Him and provokes us to anticipate with renewed hope what He will yet do. The second “cluster” of reasons for the “telling stories” (the former and more familiar phrase is sharing our testimonies) is best described in the following quote that the Union’s executive assistant Linda Kilburn shared with me last week from Brendan Manning. As Linda handed the piece to me she said, “I read this and I thought, this is what Jeremy does.” She’s right, I do.

Only mystics, clowns and artists, in my experience, speak the truth, which, as Blake keeps insisting, is perceptible to the imagination rather than the mind. Our knowledge of Jesus Christ is far too serious a business to be left to theologians and exegetes alone. From the Middle Ages those professionals have monotonously neglected art and the imagination as guides to religious truth. I find myself in complete agreement with those who wish to reinstate the mystics, clowns, and artists alongside the scholars. The imaginable is the believable. To modify Wittgenstein: What we cannot imagine, we must confine to silence and non-belief.

Part of our story telling is in conversation, meetings, talks and even in this newsletter. Part of our new culture of story telling will be in a revamped web-site that is being designed by Steve Fisher of Lacombe with technical input from Alice Paradis in the Calgary office. There are so many ways to communicate through the website today I want to mention just one. ON Tuesday, November 8 a re-launched web will begin with the introduction of daily video clips. The first day will feature a series of biographical clips of about 1 to 2 minutes in length, putting names to faces, describing our tasks and explaining how to contact folk. There will be some “clips” that day of camps in the summer of 2005 and a couple of sample items from other places. From that day on there will be a new video clip of 3-5 minutes in length every day of the year. Our problem will not be in finding enough stories to fill a years worth of web-site time, but limiting the stories to just one day. We will start with one clip a day and see where we go.


You will see and hear stores of

-the church that hosted the town’s volunteer fire department and 400 folks showed up to give thanks for them

-the church that helps single parent households get ready for school in the fall

-a story about work with new-comers to Canada

-a “clip” about some community Christmas service and outreach ideas

-a celebrating of lives transformed in Christ

-a life changing experience for some folk visiting El Salvador


I feel foolish even trying to list the topics we have begun or planned to have as there are just far too many of them.

So here’s a challenge. At the end of this letter are the technical specifications for film and video on our web site. If you have a story of what God is doing in your midst please give myself or Linda Kilburn a call and we’ll walk through how that story can be shared with the rest of Western Canada (hey, this is the web….shared with the world).

God longs to make Himself known amongst us and this is but one way and a am beginning at that. Welcome to a festival and season of sharing God’s faithful presence amongst us…a promise of things to come.



In Christ,

Jeremy Bell


P.S. See you at the web in November

P.P.S. As you read this on Wednesday, October 12, the Mustard Seed will be having a fundraiser/celebration of Pat Nixon’s receiving of the Order of Canada Medal in Calgary. Please pray for that time.