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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Voices from Scripture by Heart

Seminarians tell their stories of memorizing and performing

Carrie B. Smith—master of divinity, 2008
Home congregation: Salem Lutheran, Stillwater, Okla.


Was memorizing an entire chapter of a book of the Bible difficult?

Memorization isn’t hard for me because I have a music degree. I use the techniques to memorize music to help me memorize Scripture. This includes learning the text backward, which allows the ending to be that much stronger and rehearsed.

I found it difficult to get into the mind of the character. It was especially hard being Jesus. I kept thinking, “What does he sound like?” and “Would Jesus be sarcastic?”

How are you applying what you’ve learned?

This spring I’m teaching storytelling in my [intern] congregations and using it during worship. How many of us can remember the boring memorizations we did for confirmation? Using the Scripture by Heart technique allows youth to get into the text without [memorizing] being a chore.

In class we talked about how we’re living in a “postliterate” age of cell phones andiPods. So to reach people, it’s all about allowing them to hear the Scripture.


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