...that tingle down your spine, or like a bubble rising up in your chest.

It can happen at any time: out in nature breathing in the wild,  in a crowd watching a child play with their father,  by an old building noticing the sunlight fall just so, laughing with a group of close friends at the end of a tough day, listening to a song loud and close on your headphones, in a dark auditorium watching a story glow and unfold on a stage framed by heavy velvet curtains. 

In that fleeting moment, something reaches out and touches you. You feel something fill you up with Joy/Hope/Belonging, and it feels big—bigger than anything else you’ve ever experienced—and then all of a sudden it’s gone. Gone, and impossible to really explain to anyone else.

You’re not crazy, it really happened.  And it was something big and meaningful and important. It was part of a much Greater Story peeking through your story for a moment, pulling at you and making you feel that somehow, in that moment, you were in the real right place. That somehow you belonged in that Greater Story.

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Guess what? You do.

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There is a Greater Story--that you’re a part of--and it's awesome. It's powerful and meaningful and full of great love, sacrifice, justice, and magic. Beasts and angels and battles and Beauty. Adventure, romance, hope, tears, laughter. Everything you love most about all your favorite stories.

This Story is told by a Master Storyteller who put some of that storyteller in us, too.  Some of our natural storytelling themes, along with Creation and the stories of the Bible, point directly to the Greater Story, which in turn can teach us more about God, ourselves and the world we live in. Here at Once and Still, we're all about stories--of all kinds--and what they say about the Greater Story.


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What is your story telling you about the Greater Story?

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Who We Are:

We are Ethan and Gracie Klumpp. He's an historian, third grade teacher, writer. She's an illustrator, etsy shop owner, part-time shop clerk.  

We've been there--thinking you must be crazy for feeling more at home in stories than in "real life," wondering why church and the God they talk about there feels so separate, and less true than the flashes of beauty and adventure you experience in fleeting moments.  I (Gracie) used to think growing up meant leaving story behind--it's no wonder I lived in my Peter Pan costume, stopped answering to my own name, and crowed myself hoarse when I was four.  We've been through the painful journey of trying to leave story behind and learning to be "practical," in everything from the kind of books we read to our beliefs about God. But it feels so unnatural and forced, and at one point had us completely questioning our faith. 

It's been a long road back from that very dark place. We don't pretend to know everything, but we're passionate about stories and God (and a few other things, like adventure, coffee, thunderstorms, and ice cream).  We firmly believe that stories matter--a lot. Like go on crazy road trips to hear and learn how to tell them a lot. Learning about the Greater Story has completely changed the way we see God and ourselves, and deepened our relationship with Him (and each other!) in ways we could never have imagined.

Once and Still exists because we want to share what we've learned about stories and God with you, have discussions with you about God and stories, and we hope that we can encourage you in your adventures with God in this world. You can contact us anytime at gracieandethan{at}gmail.com, or through the form here.


What We Do:

  • Write about the theology of story (By this we do not mean doctrine. We mean literally the “study of God” through stories, both visual and written. What does the story of God’s word say about Him? What do the stories we tell say about Him? About us? What does all of this mean for us in our lives and faith?).
  • Create artwork that tells stories, including connections between people and of the wonder of creation.
  • Start, engage in and encourage conversations about stories, the theology of story, humanity, and everyday faith.
  • Illustrate great stories.


Seeing the world through the perspective of this Greater Story can completely change the way you live your story.

There's an incredible story happening all around you, and we don't want you to miss it. We'd love to have you join our community and be a part of the conversation!