Logistics for Thursday:
Storytelling is integral to what we do at GCF. It's part of getting to know each other and hearing how God is working in our lives and through our academic journeys. It is also part of a therapeutic technique that Rachel is learning as part of her Master of Social Work program. So this week she will be sharing her story with us, as well as fulfilling a requirement for her course. I think this is a first for GCF! Here is what she has to say about what she will be sharing, and how we can support her in it:
"As a social work student, I have been learning about narrative therapy. Narrative therapy is based on an understanding that people’s lives and identities are stories; stories that shape and give meaning to life. The quality and complexity of the stories we inhabit can restrict, limit, enliven, and empower us. Through authoring and re-authoring processes the client and therapist work together towards a richer and more nuanced story of the client’s life.
In the spirit of narrative therapy I ask: What discourses have been shaping the way I live - for better or for worse? What stories have I been telling myself? What details and plots have I been paying attention to, which leaving out? I’ll explore these questions in the course of my story-telling, with particular attention to how my story has been shaped by discourses of modern power and Christianity.
Narrative therapy involves a process called “outsider witnessing” - a process strikingly similar to the existing structure for GCF Story nights. Clients invite people into the therapy space with them to “witness” them telling their story, and then reflect on that story. You’re invited to participate in my story as “outsider witnesses”. Don’t worry - if you’ve been to other GCF story nights you’ve already pretty much done it without realizing! I’ll also give an explanation of the witnessing process when we’re all together.
I look forward to the storying and re-storying process we'll engage in together this Thursday."
I hope you can join us to be a witness to Rachel's story. To ask questions, be drawn in, and see how it might resonate with your own story. I hope through witnessing her story, we can support Rachel in hearing more clearly the narratives in her story that enliven and empower her, and consider what storylines we might want to pay more attention to in our own lives.
Hana has generously offered her home for us to meet in for the rest of term. (Contact email@example.com to get the address or zoom link.) Because we are meeting inside, it is also possible to join by zoom at 7 pm:
Guidelines for Meeting in person:
We are still navigating this and want to do this in a manner that allows us to meet together in person in a way that all those participating can feel as safe as possible. If you have any concerns after reading these expectations or after attending on Thursday, please let Carol or Brenda know, and we will do our best to address them.
- If you didn't attend last week, you will need to provide us with paperwork to confirm that you are double-vaccinated. You can do this either by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a pdf of your vaccination confirmation, or you can show it to a staff member when you arrive.
- When you arrive at Hana’s house, come in the front door - it will be open from 5:45 pm. No need to knock or ring the bell. Leave your shoes by the door, and come upstairs to Hana’s apartment. Please wear a mask when you enter, and keep it on until you eat.
- For those joining us for dinner, we will gather to eat starting at 6 pm. Please arrive as close to that time as you can, as we need to be done eating at 6:50 pm. Since we will be removing masks while eating, we will distance ourselves as much as possible into other rooms on Hana’s main floor. For those eating in the living room, please ensure all plates and drinks on the coffee table are placed under coasters. We will open the windows to air out the room for a few mins around 6:50 pm, and you will be asked to put your mask on at that point.
- If you are attending only the discussion part of the evening, please arrive after 6:55 pm (ideally before 7:05 pm). We will all be expected to wear our masks for the rest of the evening. We will start the zoom meeting at 7 pm as well.
- Please be mindful of how much noise you make, especially the living room (which is above a bedroom). Hana's landlord lives in the apartment downstairs, and sound-proofing between floors is weak. To minimize noise later in the evening, we will reconfigure the room and do dishes right after discussion ends. You are still welcome to stick around afterward for socializing until roughly 10 PM.
- Because we are inside, we ask that you be extra cautious and attend by zoom if you are experiencing any covid-symptoms, as noted on the UofT UCheck symptom check.