As a pastor and the executive director of the UCC Church Building & Loan Fund, the Rev. Dr. Patrick G. Duggan values the importance of creating strong communities. CB&LF helps congregations renew, renovate or buy property to transform their communities.
Q: How have you witnessed storytelling impact a community?
Duggan: I think a community is shaped largely by its stories and the shared story of the people who have lived there and worked there. The story is passed on to them and they are a part of continuing that story or changing it, but I think that the story constitutes the community. The story is the history — it shows resilience.
For example, I’m a part of a community now called Freeport in Long Island, and there’s a part of Freeport that was severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Part of the story is going to be what happened during Sandy and the recovery from Sandy as well as the stories of people moving in and out of the area. It’s been five years now and it still holds meaning for everybody there and everybody in that area. It’s a connector — it helps people locate their own life story. I don’t think you have community without both the shared stories or the individual stories.