A few weeks ago, long-time member of the SortaCrunchy community Elizabeth approached me about a project she is taking up. As someone who is unendingly fascinated by the stories of the lives of others, I was delighted to hear about what Elizabeth is doing. I'll let her explain:
My name is Elizabeth. My husband recently entered the discernment process to be ordained as a priest in our church. Part of this process includes both of us writing spiritual autobiographies.
I was NOT looking forward to this. Re-examining my past? For someone else to read? Please! But alas, I had to do it.
The exercise was AMAZING. It gave me the opportunity to reflect on my upbringing, those who played a role in it, and I was able to see a bird's eye view of my life so far in a way that enabled me to connect some dots that God knew were related, but I certainly didn't. It was also interesting to look at the moments I remember and wonder why I remember those over others.
As a read and reread mine over and over again to fit the confines of the diocese's specifications, I wondered what other people's spiritual autobiographies might sound like. And more importantly, what do these autobiographies say about faith and our walks to, with, and away from God. Are there any common threads? When do these significant moments happen?
So, collecting these autobiographies is my new project. I have no idea what I will do with them yet. I will read them and hope to note some trends. At this point, I have no plans to publish anything related to these; just an informal sociological study to help me procrastinate grading papers and housework. So here's what I'm asking for:
- A spiritual autobiographical summary that is no more than 5 pages (you'd be amazed at how stuff comes pouring out once you get started!), setting forth the facts of your life and your interpretation of the meaning and importance of those facts.
- Some questions you might want to include: 1) Why do you do what you do every day? 2) What is the most difficult issue with which you have ever had to deal? 3) If you could change anything about your life, what would it be?
- Feel free to keep in or delete any identifying information (names of churches, schools, etc.)
- If you are interested in being contacted should I ever publish something related to these (I would NEVER publish without your explicit permission), please include your name and email.
Please send these to: spiritualautobiographies at gmail dot com. I have created a blog with my spiritual autobiography so that I may share mine with you: Spiritual Autobiographies
Thank you for your consideration in contributing to this project!
note from Megan: I'm hoping that Elizabeth will be able to collect stories of faith from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. If you have a moment, would you consider sharing this project with your network of friends via Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, etc? I know every person has a story to tell, and I can only imagine the wealth of narrative just under the surface, just waiting for the moment to be told.
original picture by Brandi Jordan on Flickr