November 16, 2017—My memory holds many stories from my childhood. Two continue to shape me in profound ways.
Old Molly is a true story, first told to me by my grandmother. Old Molly was the family’s only cow, highly valued because she was their main source of milk. She had many runaway adventures, one of which required my grandmother’s courage and tenacity to save Old Molly from being hit by a train. The story made me laugh as a young child, but as I grew older, I found new meaning in the adventures of Old Molly.
My father was a preacher, and ended one of his sermons with a story from his childhood, about a train that needed extra engine power. While visiting his grandmother, who lived very close to the train tracks, my father would often watch the train as it struggled to climb the steep hills. To make progress, the train conductor would often have to flip a switch and engage the additional engine for the extra power to climb. This story of The Flipped Switch inspired me to engage the power of Christ in my life.
It was through these stories and many others told by my grandmother and my father that I found a sense of identity. From a developmental perspective, I formed a spiritual identity that allows me to understand who I am in the context of my Christian faith and the great journey of life. Stories taught me about transformation, as a process and a principle, as I applied the lessons of the stories to my own life.
Register now for the online course, Hidden in Plain Sight: Storytelling for Learning and Transformation, January 8 through February 2, 2018. You will learn to use storytelling as a tool for transformational educational ministry in congregations and faith communities. In a few short weeks, we’ll explore how to use your own stories and those around you as a means of community building and liberation. I would love for you to join me in this journey to explore the very powerful assets that exist in telling a story.
And if you join us, you may hear the endings to the Old Molly and Flipped Switch stories!
ABOUT CYNTHIA MCDONALD: As a former pastor, educator, and consultant, the Rev. Dr. Cynthia Parnell McDonald maintains a high level of excitement and commitment to her ministry of personal development for young women. Some of her innovative and creative initiatives include the supervision of various initiatives in faith-based programs and curriculum development, leadership development, and educational outreach with the development of quality programs, educational resources, and consulting services for churches and other faith-based institutions. With a PhD In Educational Leadership and Administration from The University of Southern Mississippi and an MDiv from Candler School of Theology at Emory University, she maintains research interests that include: best practices for the mentoring and youth ministry; models for the self-leadership development of young women; and the impact of church and community on identity development and self-image of youth.