Interfaith Story Circle   (Albany, Schenectady, Troy, NY)
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Children at the
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Events 2017-2018


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OUR WELCOME STATEMENT

WELCOME to the Interfaith Story Circle!

Our mission is promoting understanding, respect and friendship among people of diverse cultures, ethical traditions and religions by facilitating the sharing of stories.

We open and close the circle with a prayer or reflection.

The guest storyteller will share some thoughts on the circle’s theme and tell some related stories.

You are then invited to tell a story if you wish. We all enjoy listening, and some of us may be moved to share a personal or a traditional story. Stories bring forth other stories, which greatly enrich our circle when given a voice. So don’t be surprised if you find that you have a story (or two!) to tell.

Don’t be shy; a story given life through telling is often as much a gift for the teller as for those who hear it.

We don't clap, discuss or comment on the stories. We move from story to story, sometimes with a bit of silence in between.

We are glad you have chosen to be with us. Sit back, relax and ready yourself for the pleasure, inspiration and wisdom that can come with the telling of each tale!


Monday, Sept. 11, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

The Power of Story to Heal

September 11 is a date seared into the memory of all Americans. The Interfaith Story Circle chooses to launch our 25th anniversary season on this date so as to make it a time for healing, care and comfort.

Our guest teller is Rev. Dr. Harlan Ratmeyer, pastor of the First Reformed Church of Bethlehem and ACPE Supervisor and Chaplain at Albany Medical Center. Throughout his career, Rev. Ratmeyer has applied stories to enthuse, teach and heal. Join us for a session that will demonstrate the nature of the interplay between story and healing hearts and minds.

First Church in Albany
110 North Pearl Street, Albany 12207

Free and Open to the Public

For further information, please contact Joe Doolittle

PLEASE NOTE:
The Maiden Lane parking lot fee is $5.00 per car. If you choose to park in this lot, use the kiosk to purchase a ticket and place it on the car dashboard. We are warned that cars without parking permit tickets will be towed at the owner's expense.

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Tuesday, Oct. 17, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Racial Healing: The Power of Story to Build the Beloved Community

Friends for Racial Healing have found that stories provide an excellent way to bring understanding and insights to the diversity of our community. Sometimes the stories are funny and sometimes they make us cry, they always bring us joy in being together.

Our guest teller is Sandy Powell. She is a member of the Friends for Racial Healing Committee, which is a subcommittee of the Friends for Racial Justice. They use stories as a medium to share, inspire, educate and open space for true understanding about the deeper issues of racism an its impact.

Albany Friends Meeting
727 Madison Avenue, Albany 12208

Free and Open to the Public

For further information, please contact Nancy Machold 518-237-0702.

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Thursday, Nov. 16

6:30 p.m. Tour of the synagogue
7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Story sharing

The Power of Story to Shift Our Beliefs

Beliefs are hard to change, but one of the best ways to do it is through the stories we hear and the stories that we experience. Stories are one of the most powerful forces in the world. They dictate who we think we are, what we think is right or wrong, what’s safe and what’s dangerous. What are some of the stories that you have heard or experienced that have changed the way you see yourself or the world around you?

Our guest teller Beth Sabo Novik is a teacher of religious school at Temple Sinai in Saratoga, a storyteller, a workshop facilitator, a massage therapist, a hypnotist, an intuitive coach, a speaker, wife and mom, and an outgoing introvert.

Come share your own traditional or personal stories related to the theme or just come to listen. Either way, you will be warmly welcomed!

Congregation Berith Sholom
167 Third Street, Troy, NY 12180

Parking is available in the Russell Sage lot on the corner of Third and Division; enter in the alley off Division St.

Established 150 years ago, Berith Sholom is the oldest synagogue in continuous use in New York State. A tour will be offered at 6:30 p.m.

Free and Open to the Public

For further information, please contact Gert Johnson 518-374-0637.

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Thursday, Dec. 7

7:00 - 9:00 p.m.         Story sharing

The Power of Story to Connect Us

We are unique organisms living independent lives. Yet when we share our unique stories and listen to one another with love, we can feel our experiences overlap; we see that we are connected like tree roots touching underground.

Our guest teller is Rev. Abby Norton-Levering, the Ministries Coordinator for the Regional Synod of Albany, Reformed Church of America, and a part of the First Reformed Church in Schenectady. She also loves knitting, doodling, Crossfit and decorating Ukrainian eggs. Rev. Abby has been telling stories at the Troy Front Parlor (a local monthly Moth-like event) for the past year.

Come share your own traditional or personal stories related to the theme or just come to listen. Either way, you will be warmly welcomed!

Regional Synod of Albany
1790 Grand Blvd., Schenectady, NY 12309

Free and Open to the Public

For further information, please contact Audrey Seidman, 518-459-0661.

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Thursday, Jan. 18

7:00 - 9:00 p.m.         Story sharing

The Power of Story for Stepping into Meditation

Stories can serve as a strong medium for calming our minds and bodies and helping us to engage in meditation.

Our guest teller, Janaki Ramkumar, will share stories and techniques she uses in teaching her meditation class at the Strom Wellness Center in Delmar. Janaki is a member of the Hindu Temple Society of the Capital District and the mother of two college-aged sons who are alumni of Children@the Well Youth Storytellers for Peace and Understanding. It was their family’s experience with the program that prompted Janaki’s desire to become a storyteller in her own right. And she has!

Come share your own traditional or personal stories related to the theme or just come to listen. Either way, you will be warmly welcomed!

Hubbard Interfaith Sanctuary
959 Madison Avenue, Albany, NY 12202

The Sanctuary is on the campus of College of St. Rose. We have permission to park in the Lima parking lot behind the sanctuary by the campus quad. Enter by the driveway close to the corner of Madison and Partridge (between 929 and 921 Madison) marked with a parking sign.

Free and Open to the Public

For further information, please contact Gert Johnson, 518-374-0637.

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Wednesday, Feb. 28

6:15 - 7:15 p.m. Vegetarian potluck supper
 : (list of ingredients in your dish is appreciated)
7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Story sharing

The Tent of Abraham: The Power of Story to Encourage the Gifts of Hospitality

The annual Tent of Abraham program was initiated in 2006 as a way to celebrate the confluence of the Jewish, Christian, Muslim holy days at that time and continues as a way to build interfaith bridges.

The first mention of hospitality in the Bible is when Abraham welcomes the strangers at Mamre. As the father of three faith traditions, Abraham’s gift for hospitality has influenced our cultures and traditions. Our Guest Tellers this year are Sandy Schuman (Jewish), Bill Roylance (Christian) and Dr. Mussarat Chaudhry (Muslim). Come share your own traditional or personal stories related to the theme or just come to listen. Either way, you will be warmly welcomed!

Dominican Retreat and Conference Center
1945 Union St. (Route 7) Niskayuna, NY 12309 (click here for directions)

Free and Open to the Public

For further information, please contact Anne Snyder, 518-869-5247.

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Wednesday, March 21

7:00 - 9:00 p.m.         Story sharing

The Power of Story to Welcome the Stranger

Not knowing when the dawn will come
I open every door…
- Emily Dickinson

Stories can help us to open the door to welcome the stranger in our midst. Our guest teller this month is Claire Nolan. As a Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages for more than 20 years, Claire has long been telling stories to immigrants and international students. Perhaps more importantly, she has been listening to their stories. Claire is a parishioner at The Shrine Church of Our Lady of the Americas in Albany.

Come share your own traditional or personal stories related to the theme or just come to listen. Either way, you will be warmly welcomed!

University at Albany Interfaith Center

Free and Open to the Public - Free Parking Available!

University at Albany Campus Map

Entering campus from Western Ave., turn left, pass SEFCU Athletic Center on right and the Interfaith Center (135 on map) will be on left side across from field and basketball court.

Entering from Washington Ave. take a right onto University Drive West circling the campus.

Limited parking is available at the Interfaith Center, with more community parking in the Dutch Quad Lot, G on map; you must use the darker shaded area closest to the Interfaith Center. Using the map will help if you are not familiar.

For further information, please contact Nancy Machold, 518-414-0859.

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Wednesday, April 25

7:00 - 9:00 p.m.         Story sharing

The Power of Story to En-courage Us

Sometimes we hesitate out of fear of the unknown

Guest tellers Marni Gillard and Nancy Marie Payne will offer tales about finding strength and courage to act after being en-couraged by another. They will help us see that stories themselves are a powerful form of en-couragement. Let’s encourage each other with our shared tales towards increasing generosity, activism, and simple connection in our world.

After receiving a Masters in Pastoral Studies from St. Bernard’s, Marni Gillard has begun exploring tales of faith-filled people and Bible characters. www.marnigillard.com .

Storyteller Nancy Marie Payne has worked with the Interfaith Story Circle on many projects, including Children at the Well. She resides in Berne. http://nancymariepayne.blogspot.com .

Come share your own traditional or personal stories related to the theme or just come to listen. Either way, you will be warmly welcomed!

St. Madeleine Sophie Church

3500 Carman Road, Schenectady, NY 12303 -- Located on Route 146 between Rotterdam and Guilderland

Free and Open to the Public

For further information, please contact Bill Roylance, 518-465-9521.

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Wednesday, May 9

7:00 - 9:00 p.m.         Story sharing

The Power of the Interfaith Story Circle - 25TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

Gert Johnson, founder of the Interfaith Story Circle, will be our primary guest teller. In 1993 she first shared her understanding with others that storytelling – and listening – have the power to change us, to open doors, and to build bridges. For this celebratory circle. Gert, along with others who represent the wide diversity of our circle, will also share stories that demonstrate this power.

Come share your own story about how the Interfaith Story Circle has touched your life, or just come to listen. Either way, you will be warmly welcomed!

Hubbard Interfaith Sanctuary, College of St. Rose
959 Madison Ave., Albany, NY 12203

Celebratory Refreshments!

The Sanctuary is on the campus of College of St; Rose. We have permission to park in the Lima parking lot behind the sanctuary next to the campus quad. Enter by the driveway close to the corner of Madison and Partridge (between 929 and 931 Madison) marked with a parking sign.

Free and Open to the Public - Free Parking Available

For further information, please contact Anne Snyder , 518-869-5247.

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Thursday, June 14

7:00 - 9:00 p.m.         Story sharing

The Power of Story - More Love Stories From the LGBTQ Community

Last year’s story circle on this theme was so successful, we repeat it this year for LGBTQ Pride Month, with new guest tellers and the continued invitation to all in the community.

John Medwid is the pastor of First Lutheran Church in Albany, New York. His story includes many chapters as a Roman Catholic priest who has now transitioned into ministry in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In 2016, he received a Doctor of Ministry degree from New Brunswick Theological Seminary and he is currently pursuing an MS in Mental Health Counseling from Capella University. He is a member of the LGBTQ community.

Annie Reilly, a Michigan native, has lived in the Capital Region for six years and serves as the Associate Pastor at the Presbyterian-New England Congregational Church in Saratoga. Nikki Alcala is a Texas- born transplant who still doesn’t love the New York Winter. She’s a public health nurse working to improve the lives of the Medicaid population in the Capital Region. Nikki is a Jew by choice and is a member of Congregation Berith Sholom in Troy.

Come share your own traditional or personal stories related to the theme or just come to listen. Either way, you will be warmly welcomed!

First Lutheran Church ELCA of Albany
181 Western Avenue, Albany, NY 12203 (between Quail and Lake)

Parking is available in their lots off Cortland Place or Western Avenue

Free and Open to the Public - Free Parking Available

For further information, please contact info@withourvoice.org .

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Read about some of our previous events: