How Do People Come To God?

Welcome to Siebenquell (Seven springs). Siebenquell is a centre for Narrative Theology in the spirit of John Shea. We work in the German speaking countries in order
to promote this way of experiencing, speaking and thinking about God beyond the English speaking world in which it was born. This theology is not a theoretical construct. Indeed, it poses the question, »How do people come to God?» and answers: »Through stories!«

Thus it is the intention of every narrative theologian and the core task of our centre
to activate the spiritual potential within each listener
through the telling of the stories of God and the stories of faith.

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From Where Does The Name Come?

John Shea once wrote: »Focus and then go deep!« He challenges us to find the central point and then plumb its depths. Is this not what we do when we dig a well? In the right place, where we suspect water lies waiting in hidden depths, we start to dig and to dig deep in order to bring the elixir of life bubbling to the surface. For this reason we chose the name Siebenquell (Seven springs). It speaks to the deep biblical memory of Beerscheba, a well in the Negev desert. This well was dug by Abraham, became a place of meeting for the desert nomads and the biblical starting point for the tales of the first mothers and fathers of the faith. It stood at the crossroads of commerce and trade, where people were on the move, where they would stop, rest, draw water and life for the journey and tell their stories. Today Beerscheba is still known as the place of the seven wells. And pilgrims in Israel connect the name to a town on the shores of the Sea of Gennesareth: Tabgha (in Greek Heptapegon) means seven springs. Many stories of Jesus take place here: the feeding of the multitudes, his teaching from the boot, healings, encounters …

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Why Do We Walk The Path Of Storytelling?

Fundamentally, we experience stories as entertaining. They often speak of life in a humorous fashion. They can be so inspiring that they breathe life into the listener.

But they can do much more.

The Stories of God and the Stories of Faith

  • penetrate through our defence mechanisms,
  • they slow down our usual processes of judgment and evaluation,
  • they show us new possibilities and open new perspectives,
  • ncourage us to lovingly look at ourselves without harsh judgment,
  • uncover deeper levels in ourselves that are not visible from the surface of our lives,
  • they track the detours we take between our deeply held intention and our broken living
  • and they achieve many things that we cannot predict.

In this fashion, the stories can set seven springs of life flowing within us.

We at Siebenquell consciously walk this path of storytelling in order to make the living relationship between God and his people possible, to foster it and to deepen it.

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Siebenquell was founded in 2012 by Erik Riechers SAC and Rosemarie Monnerjahn
as a centre for Narrative Theology and is a part of
the Pallottine Community of Haus Wasserburg in Vallendar.


Erik Riechers SAC

Erik Riechers SAC

Erik Riechers SAC, born 1963, is a priest and a member of the Pallottines. As a systematic theologian
he specialises in the field of Narrative Theology.
A native of Canada, he works as a leader of Bibliodrama,
as a spiritual director and a retreat director.

Rosemarie Monnerjahn

Rosemarie Monnerjahn

Rosemarie Monnerjahn, born 1957, the mother of three adult daughters, worked as a religious educator and catechist in schools and parishes. Since her training as a leader of Bibliodrama
she is a co-worker in the Spiritual Centre of the Pallottines
in Vallendar and continues her education in Narrative Theology.

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What could be more fitting …

When the great founder of the Chassidim, Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov saw that disaster was threatening the Jewish people, it was his custom to go to a certain spot in the forest and meditate. There he lit a fire, spoke a special prayer and then the miracle would happen and the disaster was averted.

Later, when his disciple, the renowned Rabbi Maggid of Mezritch, wanted to avert disaster from the people, he would go to the same spot in the forest and pray: »Lord, God of all Creation, hear me! I do not know how to light the fire, but I still know the prayer. That must be enough.« And it was enough. And the disaster passed by the people.

Many years later the Rabbi Moshe-Leib of Sasov wanted to protect his people from a disaster. He, too, went to the spot in the forest and said: »Lord, I do not know how to light the fire and I do not know the prayer either. But I know this place and that must be enough.« And it was enough. And the people were saved.

Many decades later, Rabbi Israel of Rizhyn wanted to overcome the misfortune that befell his people. He sat in his house, his head in his hands and spoke to God: »Lord, I cannot light the fire and I do not know the prayer. I cannot even find the spot in the forest. I can only tell the story, and that must be enough.« And it was enough!


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God created humankind, because he loves stories!