The Life Stories Workshop has drawn together the writing talents and experiences of members of the congregation since 2005. The group, which meets before dinner on Wednesday Night Alive!, has enjoyed the community and friendship that has grown from sharing personal stories.
A session of the Life Stories Workshop may include discussions about the memoir writing process, ways of remembering events from early childhood, and presentations by individual members. The short exercises have often involved themes or events that are inspirational or relevant to the time of the year or an historical event. Some individuals have been interested in writing about their childhood and experiences so that the stories may be preserved for their families. In recent years, several members have been expanding their writing interests to include fiction, mysteries and poetry.
Several projects have been undertaken by the group. The most ambitious was the completion of “Window to the Past—Christ the King Lutheran Church.” The writers from the Life Stories Workshop began interviewing members of the congregation in the winter of 2008 and continued through 2010. We wanted to capture the stories of the early congregation, how it has grown and how various programs have been started over the years. As stated in the introduction: Christ the King Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas, is fortunate in having a number of current members who participated in those early activities at the church, but as the church has grown there are many new members who are not acquainted with the church history. It was our intent to preserve some of these early stories so that they may not be lost to future members.
The book, “Window to the Past”, may be obtained by Googling the book title or going to Blurb.com and searching for the title. Among the writers from the congregation who have participated in these workshops have been Ann Chisholm, Allan Dieter, Kathy Haueisen, Bridget Jensen, Peggy Johnson, Mel Ostwald, Beverly Palmer, Ruth Urmy, Stephen Wentland, and Anna Fay Williams, facilitator.
“Moments Lived from a Larger Life,” published in the Fall 2007, was the first joint project in the Life Stories Workshop. The compilation of 29 stories written during the workshops included recollections of the holidays, places in the past, friends and characters, and events in our lives.
Through these years we have come to know other members of the group and their stories as if they were part of our family stories. The sharing of events, even those that didn’t seem important such as family dinner rituals, has helped us realize their importance in our lives. Our own “forgotten” events are often recalled through the stories of others that trigger our memories.