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'Minister of the arts' guides groups to do Bibliodrama

Michael Haven enjoys helping church members prepare and present Bibliodrama. It has given her later years purpose.

Michael Haven guides groups to do Bibliodrama.

“Bibliodrama brings sacred stories to life on the chancel as the stage. I gather people to read the story, such as Jesus healing the bleeding woman. Then we discuss what people may have said and share ideas to flesh out the scenes,” she said. “I often write it with Marci Scott-Weiss, the pastor, to be sure the theology and facts are straight.

“We are doing one on the bleeding woman who was healed by touching Jesus’ robe for Domestic Violence Sunday in early October,” she said.

She enjoys how conversations about a scripture deepen their understanding.

Michael moved from Ann Arbor, Mich., after her parents separated. She lived in San Francisco most of her life before coming to Seattle in 2016.

After high school in 1973, she worked as a secretary for different businesses and was involved in community theater for 35 years there.

Michael was not involved in a church until she was going through a divorce in 2008 in Colorado Springs.

“I started going to a UCC church and it saved my life,” she said, adding that the pastor learned about her experience in community theater and asked her to direct a Lenten play written by a local playwright.

“That gave me the idea of doing Bibliodrama to bring scripture to life,” Michael said.

She then moved to Alameda, Calif., where she did Bibliodrama for a Lenten series on the last week of Jesus’ life.

The pastor suggested she go to Pacific School of Religion. So she did. While there from 2014 to 2016, she did Bibliodrama.

“When I moved to Seattle, I emailed churches offering to do pulpit supply and Bibliodrama. Joy Haertig at Magnolia UCC asked me to do a Bibliodrama during Lent,” said Michael, who decided to join the church.

Magnolia called her to be a “traveling minister of the arts” and ordained her in 2018. Based there, she has taken Bibliodrama to other UCC churches and churches of other denominations until COVID hit.

“I support myself working as a full-time secretary with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” Michael said.

In covenant with Magnolia, she does Bibliodrama as a volunteer with people in the congregation as the cast. Her work with community theater in San Francisco was volunteer unless she directed or wrote a script.

“In this ministry, I feel the Holy Spirit working in me, deepening my faith,” she said.

For information, call 206-316-3941.


Pacific NW United Church of Christ Conference News © October 2023


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