Lorraine Hartin-Gelardi |
TALES OF IMAGINATION & INSPIRATION
What People are
Storyteller Lorraine Hartin-Gelardi took the stage and a peaceful hush overtook the crowd at the Saturday plenary session of the Churchwide Gathering of Presbyterian Women in Louisville, KY. In clear tones and melodic rhythms, Hartin-Gelardi painted a picture of diverse people gathering on the banks of a lake to proclaim the name of God and discover their essential oneness.
The crowd was rapt and the day’s theme was portrayed with a poignancy that would not soon be forgotten. “She was very dramatic and her message came through in a moving way,” observed Lois Dickinson, a member of Wabash Presbyterian Church in Wabash, Indiana. The story was adapted from In God’s Name by Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso and was incorporated into the morning plenary session to highlight the day’s theme of diversity.
“We get used to a certain way of hearing things and I found that listening to a story was enlivening and enriching,” said Dickinson. Hartin-Gelardi was afraid she would have trouble connecting with such a large group after being used to addressing smaller groups and using direct eye contact. “I found there was a presence in the room. Someone said ‘Gathering women embrace each other.’ I felt embraced.”