Lasting Memories with Inspiring Stories
The new emphasis on story telling in corporate affairs is indicative of a greater awareness that in our fast moving electronic age we have better opportunities than ever before to record and preserve achievements in all sectors of human endeavour for the benefit of later generations. This is now the prescribed formula for company and voluntary sector annual reports and plays an increasing role in the expectations of shareholders, funding agencies and donors with an emphasis on outcomes and not only outputs.
Alf made mention a few sermons ago of the meaning of our lives in terms of personal endeavour as a lasting legacy. My involvement with the North Shore Hospice made me aware of a service provided to assist terminally ill patients to record the highlights in the stories of their lives. Many of us of migrant stock know very little about our ancestry beyond two or three generations. This can be attributed to many good reasons, which no longer exist in the digital age and with higher average levels of education. Regrettably, literacy alone did not suffice on my part in respect of my father. His life story has many missing elements brought about by war service and premature death. This made me aware of the importance of not only staying in touch with our relatives, but to keep a diary to keep track of the highs in their lives that can serve as examples to succeeding generations. Too often I encounter unpretentious folk, unwilling to acknowledge any major achievement in their lives who are reluctant to share significant experiences. In further dialogue it soon becomes obvious that they are good role models in a number of significant activities spanning careers and special interests. Many people are outstanding in pursuits outside work, which can be traced back to dormant talents and abilities in childhood that deserve recognition during and past their lifetime.
In earlier times Churches served as depositories of personal records and could take credit for having kept alive the memories of past parishioners. It brings me to suggest that St Aidans resurrects this as a self-appointed task. I base this on the assumption that we have members with the ability to tell stories and to record them based on first -hand accounts that should involve other members of the subject’s family, who will appreciate their effort and contribute to it. It will also enable us to get to know each other better and appreciate the value-add to our community of faith. It could become a project extending beyond our congregation. The question is, who will set the ball rolling?