Finding Your Voice When the World Says, "No"

Photo Credit: Ryan Klinck

Photo Credit: Ryan Klinck

By Justin Hancock

Hello dear friends and fellow travelers with Wisdom for the Way. I would like to take a few
moments to share with you the beginnings of an exciting adventure on which the Julian Way is
about to embark.

As many of you know, the Julian Way is the initiative begun by my wife Lisa and I that focuses
on practicing intentional community and journeying in discipleship with those of diverse
developmental and physical embodiments. We have been blessed to be able to participate in
many amazing things with our community. From our quarterly Julian Way dinners, to helping
support one of our friends in their pursuit of seminary education, God has been truly great to the
Julian Way. One of the ways God’s blessings have manifested themselves is through the
relationships with my fellow Missional Wisdom folk. That’s where this particular story begins.

I’ve always been entertained and slightly fascinated by those who could perform improv
comedy. For several years now, I have read books and continued to enjoy performances purely
for the joy that they brought me. For almost a year, I have watched and listened as my
colleague, Evey, told me about the improv classes she was taking with the Dallas Comedy
House. As she spoke to me again and again about the healing, restoration, and recovery of her
own voice she experienced through her improv classes, God began to plant the seed of an idea.
If the main philosophy of improv is “Yes, and,” how could we use the tools of improv comedy
to help those with disabilities and diverse embodiments, find their voice when the world would
tell them “no”? To that end, Lisa and I, along with the help of Evey and Denise, applied for an
Emerging Ministry Grant through the UMC to develop an idea of teaching improv within the
disability culture. I’m thrilled to say we received the grant, for $1700; a good start for the Holy
Spirit to play with.

We will have our first improv workshop at The Mix in Dallas on January 19th, from 3PM-6PM.
Our hope with this first workshop, is to play games and give those who attend the basic skills to
learn how God would use what they experience to find empowerment. Additionally, after the
workshop we will have a dinner where friends can fellowship and talk about how they
experienced the first workshop. Our hope is that those who will attend this first experiment,
would agree to be a first cohort that would run through the Spring and Summer of 2019, so we
can continue to discover what adventures God might have through improv for the Julian Way.

Please join us in prayer that this first workshop would be fruitful for those who attend. I hope you
can share the sense of excitement that we feel at the Julian Way around what God is going to
do through this wonderful experiment.

Grace and Peace,
Rev Justin Hancock