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A Good Telling
Bringing Worship to Live with Story
Kristin Maier
ISBN: 9781558967182
Book (Paperback)
Skinner House Books
8 1/2 x 9
208 pages
September 1, 2014


“From seasoned preachers to occasional volunteers, worship leaders in many settings will welcome Kristin Maier's thoughtful encouragement and practical advice to weaving stories effectively into well-crafted services. This book is a reliable guide to choosing appropriate material, practicing basic technique, and developing confidence. Urging "not perfection, but authenticity", Maier shows how good stories well-told can invite listeners of all ages into a larger, sacred narrative. Whether reading aloud from a picture book, spinning a tale from memory, recasting a traditional piece or inventing something new, we are all story-makers. A Good Telling deepens our human instinct for narrative into creative spiritual practice.” —Victoria Safford, senior minister, White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church, Mahtomedi, Minnesota

“Everyone knows the power of a good story. Kristin Maier’s thoughtful and useful guide puts that power within reach. A Good Telling puts the verb back into both stories and worship, reminding us that the good telling of stories is a sacred act that can make our worship come alive. This is a book as theological as it is practical; it belongs in the library of every worship leader, clergy and lay, seeking to engage heart and mind together. Many thanks to Kristin Maier for sharing her wisdom and skills and her stories with us.” —Karen Hering, author of Writing to Wake the Soul: Opening the Sacred Conversation Within

The art of storytelling can enrich any worship service. Whether you are reading stories from a picture book or preaching them from memory in the pulpit, A Good Telling can help you choose meaningful stories and learn how to tell them in powerful ways. It explains foundational techniques and provides practice exercises. It also offers strategies for successfully incorporating audience participation with children and adults. Supplemental material at the back includes a workshop series, complete with five ready-to-go skill-building sessions and a model for peer-to-peer sharing of stories. In addition, a comprehensive list of resources shows where to find scores of appropriate stories to tell. Whether you are a novice or a storytelling veteran, A Good Telling is an important new addition to any worship leader’s library.

Kristin Maier serves as minister of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northfield, Minnesota. She holds a master of divinity degree from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. Rev. Maier incorporates stories into worship through storytelling, preaching, and liturgical theater performed by children and adults.
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