To knowing one’s own story and how to engage with people’s stories.

To learn how to be more intentional.

To be heard, seen and known.

To enter into people’s stories so people feel known, heard and loved. Increased empathy for people who might not be like you.


“The Truth About Stories is That’s All We Are”—Thomas King

Storytelling is healing and galvanizing. As we share our stories, we feel heard, seen and known. Those things connect us more to who we are and God’s presence in our lives. When we create space for people to share stories with us, we participate in God’s redemptive mission as we give them an opportunity to experience healing by feeling heard, seen and known.

4 Steps for Effective Listening

1. Active Listening

  • Listening is an active process that requires your participation

2. Listening with Empathy

  • Simply knowing that everyone is trying to survive
  • “This is hard to hear, but it’s another human being trying to live.”

3. Listening with Openness

  • Hear the whole statement, the entire communication before judging.

4. Listening with Awareness

  • Compare what is being said to your own knowledge of history, people, and the way things are
  • Without judgment, simply making note of how a communication fits with known facts
  • Hear and observe congruenceDoes the person’s tone of voice, emphasis, facial expression and posture fit the content of his/her communication? If not you’re getting an incomplete message


Choose at least one of the following to do and practice effective listening

Exchange stories!

  • Cooking time

    • Come up with a dish you would like to recreate (preferably one with easily accessible ingredients and materials)

    • Gather and send out a list of ingredients and materials needed

    • Start your cooking!

    • As you eat, share:

      • Memories the food brings up, how it may be different than how it was growing up, the role food played in your family and community

  • Watch a documentary, movie, or tv show

    • Abominable

    • Always Be My Maybe

    • Avatar: The Last Airbender

    • Bao (Short Film)

    • Crazy Rich Asians

    • The Half of It

    • Jackie Chan Adventures

    • Joy Luck Club

    • Linsanity

    • Never Have I Ever

  • What parts of the story resonated with you?

  • What was something new you learned?

  • What is the history behind ________?

  • What challenges were faced in the stories shared?

  • What did you value/appreciate about a person’s story?