We are about to have a new experience at The Episcopal Church of the Advent. We will be listening to the Bible being told to us as a story, related from the teller’s position of knowledge and love. In the early days, after Christ’s death, this was the only way people had of hearing the Good News and this style lasted for many, many centuries since most people were unable to read. This is sometimes referred to as our “Oral Tradition”. The early Christians decided they needed to formalize the information about Christ and so the Bible was written by various authors and aimed at various audiences for clearer understanding. The first written gospel was done by Mark around the year 72 AD, just after the Roman destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. The other books came later, each reinforcing and expanding our available knowledge of the nature, love and person of God’s Only Son.
Patrick McWilliams is a biblical scholar who desires to inform people of the power and beauty of Biblical Storytelling. He recites various parts of the Bible from memory in a manner similar to that of the early Christians. He has established a website, BringTheBibleAlive.com which shows excerpts of presentations he has done including training in how to become a Biblical Storyteller. (Links to this are found on our website and Face Book pages.) He started this work in 2005 at Saint John The Baptist Episcopal Church in Breckenridge, Colorado, where he is a member and former Senior Warden. He is a member of the International Network of Biblical Storytellers and has given more than 120 presentations at churches and other venues across the USA. He uses the King James version of the Bible because the language is beautiful and the translation is the closest to the original Greek, which establishes a sense of presence, beauty and reality.
Patrick will be reciting the Book of Mark here at the Episcopal Church of the Advent on Saturday, October 1, at 9:30am. In addition, he will be demonstrating Biblical Storytelling by doing Scripture Lessons during the 10am service on Sunday, October 2. Prior to that he will conduct a Bible Story Telling Workshop for the Middle and High School Youth at 9:15am. Others interested in seeing this are invited to attend the presentation in the St. Nicholas room. After the service and a light brunch, at 11:30am, he will recite parts of Samuel 1 and 2 to describe the unusual person of David, the Giant Killer and great King.
When asked why he does this, Patrick has stated: “As for me; I am moved, I am changed, I am left with a great feeling of mystery and of the presence of the Holy Spirit when I speak Scripture. That is why I have been doing these performances and why, these days, I am even more eager to cause others to do so.”
This will be a unique opportunity to gain a new understanding of the Bible. It will offer insight into the characters therein and an experience of what it might have been like as an early Christian, interested in gaining knowledge and strengthening their faith. Please join us in experiencing as much of these special and unique presentations as possible! This is an opportunity for transformation and promises to impact your heart, mind and soul!
Art Holveck - Program Coordinator