Title

Telling the deep stories, freeing the soul and releasing the spirit.

Date of Award

5-1-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

School

Drew Theological School

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

Abstract

Pioneer United Methodist Fellowship, in Anthem, Arizona, experiences a project using preaching and teaching as avenues for sharing deep stories. Ethnography serves as the project's methodology. Pioneer United Methodist Fellowship, a new church start, stands on the brink of closing. Pioneer tells a sad and discouraging story. The project takes seriously sexism in the church as disabling both women and men. The project reimages Biblical stories and offers images of the feminine nature of divinity. Legendary stories help reinvigorate the imagination, inviting people to share and reflect on their own stories. Reimagined Biblical stories give opportunity for people to reimagine their own story. Sharing meaningful stories frees the soul and releases the spirit because it puts people in contact with pain but also hope. Cathartic experience brings new energy and creativity. Each chapter begins with a story that illustrates themes in the chapter. The work of Clarissa Pinkola Estés and Louis Ginzberg's The Legends of the Jews are two resources frequently used. I capitalize all pronouns used for the Divine Feminine.