St John Evangelical Lutheran Church

The Danger of a Single Story
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If you have 18 minutes to spare today, go check out Chimamanda Adichie's Ted Talk on "The Danger of a Single Story."



Just Google it (or click on the link). In her talk, Chimamanda speaks about the pervasive "single stories" we tell about Africa. Africa is poor. Africa is tribal. Africa is dangerous. Chimamanda never once read a story that actually captured the rich diversity of her life and experience in Nigeria. 


We tell a lot of single stories in our lives. We tell single stories about the people who have disappointed us. "He's a failure." "She's an alcoholic." As if those stories could possible capture all the hopes and dreams, joys and passions that fill a person's life. We tell single stories about groups of people, too. "They are all criminals." "They just mooch of the system." As if those stories could ever include the remarkable stories of achievement, hard-work, and love. 


As I prepare to head to Israel in July with some alumni of Luther Seminary, I am challenging my own single stories about that region. By reading Israeli perspectives alongside Palestinian perspectives, I am once again

realizing that nothing can be captured in a single story. By learning tounderstand Jerusalem's importance to Muslims, I am challenging a story I tell about history dominated by Christian perspectives. By seeking to

understand the impact of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, I am challenging the story I knew of international politics and norms. This is not easy work. In fact it can be deeply frustrating when local stories,

perspectives, and insights challenge our single stories. But the outcome is that we begin to get the real story. Deeply complicated, wonderfully diverse stories of people in impossible challenges.  


I wonder what single stories you tell? About yourself? Your family? Your enemies? Do you tell single stories about church? "Church is supposed to be ________" or "That's not church!" What do all these single stories say about God? 


God created each of our unique stories. And God is at work in every one of them! In these pages you will read stories. They don't always look like what you thought church would look like. They don't tell a single story about how God shows up in formulaic ways. They tell the real story about all the incredible ways God is at work in our church, our community, and our world. 

                                                                 Joe Natwick, Associate Pastor


Summer Day Camp Monday, Aug 8 - All Day
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St John Lutheran Church
146 6th AVE W
Dickinson, ND 58601

Phone: (701) 225-6747
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