The Storyteller’s Gift

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The colors and patterns of the pottery for sale at the San Ildefonso Pueblo in New Mexico were still in the forefront of my mind when we discovered we had locked the keys inside our rental car. As we settled in to wait for the locksmith, the young Native American behind the desk smiled, beckoned me to look over his shoulder, and started turning the pages of his weathered sketchbook, which was filled with breathtaking designs like the ones I had just seen on the pottery in the pueblo. It made me want one of the finished pots even more. Unfortunately, it cost $85 to unlock the car.

Later, at the Taos Pueblo, I relayed what had happened to a Native American woman working in the gift shop. She showed me a small, plain, inexpensive “grandfather” pot. Its form represented a blanketed grandfather with arms spread wide, inviting children to come and listen to the stories of the generations. “Just like Jesus,” she said. As she wrapped the pot for me, she advised, “Create your own design. Fill the pot with your own stories.”

My little pot is now filled with small shells and stones— mementos of places and people that have filled my heart with God’s presence and God’s gifts. But telling the stories is what’s important. I look forward to sharing those stories someday with my grandchildren.

This stewardship story is from the Generations of Generosity theme materials. The Generations of Generosity theme is based on Psalm 145 and encourages congregations to share their own stories of generosity and listen to others share their experiences as well. As this transpires, people sense the appreciation for belonging to a faith community along with their awareness of the need to financially support the ministry of that faith community.  Use the Giving: Growing Joyful Stewards in Your Congregation magazine volume 7 and the Starter Kit to create a congregational stewardship emphasis using the Generations of Generosity theme.

The Ecumenical Stewardship Center offers congregational stewardship resources featuring 18 different, timeless biblical themes. Peruse them all and place an order in the ESC web store.


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