As navigational guides for the soul, stories and storytelling are at the heart of the Sacred Canopy vision. Since children have an instinctual aptitude for story, a deep dive approach gives them the opportunity to explore a story with their senses fully engaged. Stories are subversive to the extent they provide one of the few means to bypass the calculating, analytical mind and access the deep subconscious. In this way, stories give listeners – young and old alike – new ways of imagining the world.
Sacred Canopy insists on the integrated learning of a young person’s mind, body and emotional life. (“Nothing is in the intellect that didn’t come through the senses.”). Our storytelling approach understands movement as the default setting for how kids grow and learn to navigate the world. We keep kids moving with body movement, choreography, drama games, music, dance, and theatre skills.
A Relational Universe
The Sacred Canopy resources encourage participants to trust the relational goodness of the Ground of all Being, however that might be named (God, Jesus, Divine Love etc.) . In the context of the Christian tradition the materials emphasize a relational Jesus, human in every way yet at the same time God-sent with a fully enlivened bearing in the Spirit that makes his presence safe as a place to seek refuge and undergo conversion and spiritual growth.
Jesus as an Alternative Narrative
Sacred Canopy resources view Jesus’ as the visible sign of the unitive (God/human) presence at the centre of all things. This is a new narrative that challenges the sacred/profane dichotomy advanced by most religious systems. As the fully awakened way-finder Jesus embodies the cruciform nature of reality, i.e. the ever deepening death/resurrection cycle. When Jesus emerges on the other side of death without becoming a victim or creating victims he charts a new path and alternative narrative for the human story.
Prayer is valued as the primary means to open hearts to God and enter the flow of the spiritual life, both collectively and spiritually. Sung, spoken, and enacted, prayers nurture a relational connection to Jesus and an awakening to the universal Christ.
Sacred Canopy resources look for truth that is confirmed by other religious and philosophical traditions, human experience, psychology and science. “For something to be true anywhere it must be true everywhere.” Sacred Canopy stories are presented not as exclusive or competitive but as a means of bridging religious divides in order to share varied interpretations of creation, humanity, suffering, hope, love and God.
Sacred Canopy resources view friendships between participants as essential to the work of sacred storytelling and, to that end, nurture community-building experiences such as shared meals, personal story-sharing, supervised sleepovers etc. We also draw on the remarkable gift that an intergenerational community of faith can offer children and youth and draw adults and elders in whenever the opportunity presents itself.