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September 18, 2014 | 23rd Elul 5774
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Sacred Conversations

Read These Inspirational Stories -
And Share Your Own

Every year, as spring approaches, we read some of the most powerful words in the Torah. "They shall build me a sanctuary", says God, "that I may dwell among them".

What does it mean for the infinite God to dwell among us? What does it mean for God to be present in our communities? And what would it mean if Reform Jews could experience God's presence at every moment?

These are the questions that the Reform Movement's Commission on Worship, Music, and Religious Living has been asking for years. And we have come to a remarkable conclusion: God is present when we share our stories - moments of holiness, stories of tragedy and triumph, of feeling the embrace of our communities. As we shared our own stories, we felt a powerful sense of God's presence - whatever that means. And we wondered, what if every Reform Jew could share his/her story? What if our members experienced the synagogue as a place to voice their innermost hopes, to connect their stories to that of their community and the Jewish people?

Here are stories of average Reform Jews, of moments when their worlds were transformed through struggles with tragedy and encounters with the divine, at moments when their communities reached out to them or when they reached out to one another. Each story is holy and inspiring. But they are only the beginning.

We need your help to create a community of communities - a movement of a million and a half Reform Jews, listening, caring, and finding meaning in each other's words. 

We want to hear your stories.

Find inspiration in the questions below, and submit your story using the form below, for possible inclusion on our blog. Share them through your congregational website, through your newsletter, through speaking opportunities at services.

Together, we'll grow, and find meaning and connection.  And ultimately, we'll find that our journeys are one and our God is One.

Ideas and Questions

1. Describe a moment or an event in your life, whether large or small, that stayed with you.  It may have been at a peak moment such a birth, death or simcha or it may have been an interaction with a fellow congregant.  How did that moment transform your relationship with a person, your community or Judaism?

2. Share a moment of gratitude that you experienced involving another person in your community.

3. Tell about a moment when you have sensed Holiness or an encounter with the Divine - when you felt something both significant and yet unexplainable.  How has this experience made a difference in your life?

4. Tell of a time when you became aware of being a part of something larger than yourself.  How did the affect your relationship with your congregation?

5. Share an experience during a worship service that changed how you feel about worship.

6. Describe the path of your own spirituality.  Do you might remember the first time you might have believed something different than your family? Where did you go for spiritual insight? Were there times when there was an absence of a spiritual "presence" in your life?  Where did these different moments lead you?

7. Describe a moment when you touched someone else's life or when someone touched your life.  How did it change your relationships with others?  Did you feel that the moment was somehow holy or that God was present? How did it change your understanding of what it means to be a community?

8. Describe a difficult time in your life Who or what helped you to recover from that moment? How did it change your feelings about Judaism?

9. Describe a moment that was somehow miraculous.

Send Us Your Story
 
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