As I See it | Rev. Dr. Zina Jacque Connects Community Through “Soul Stories Barrington”

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Rev. Dr. Zina Jacque is Pastor at Community Church of Barrington

I think everyone wants to be known. There is this place in our being that longs for connection. We are looking for wisdom from people who have gone before us. Sometimes that wisdom comes from unexpected places. We may know the stories of our inner circle of family, friends and colleagues but how do we get to know and learn from the mistakes and successes of those not in our circle? How do we acknowledge and share our own story?

Soul Stories Barrington is a new way for people to connect through the telling and listening of true stories. People want to share their stories and be in a place where they belong. It’s a live event held at Grassroots Clothing & General Store in Barrington on the third Tuesday of each month from 7:00 to 8:30pm. Anyone over the age of 18 can participate. Our only criteria is that the story be yours, is true and no use of props or notes when telling the story.

As people learn to craft and tell their story they begin to know themselves better. They also see themselves in another person’s story and know that they are not alone. To help with telling our stories, Nicole Parsons is conducting a storytelling toolkit workshop on Wednesday and Thursday, June 29th and 30th at the Barrington Area Library. She says the responsibility of a storyteller is to tell the story with authenticity and truth. What happens between your lips and the listeners’ ears is not your responsibility. Your role is not to inspire or teach. When you tell a story that is authentic and true, it touches someone else’s heart. In a culture that siloes us and is full of spin, why not let authentic stories do their work?

I chose Grassroots as the Soul Stories venue because it’s intimate, safe, unpredictable and interesting. That’s what I want the stories to be. Grassroots offered the possibility of doing things differently. The setting makes communication possible in an intimate way – the natural voice touching the natural heart, with nothing in between.

If you are alive, you’ve moved through something. You’ve known grief, pain, and hopefully love and joy. How you got to and through that place and used it for your benefit, for your wisdom, is a story.

My hope is that we create a culture where we learn to tell the truth in a way that blesses the storyteller and the one who receives it. My grandfather was a fabulous storyteller. He passed on such wisdom through his stories. I was 12 when he died. I can still repeat his stories. If I give you a list of facts, you are not going to remember them. But if I tell you a story, you will. Soul Stories is a way of passing on our wisdom so that we can hold and retain it.

As I See It expresses the opinion or point of view of a Barrington area resident on a topic that they care about and are knowledgeable on. Through a personal interview, writer Mary Klest compiles the narrative for 365Barrington with images by local photographer, Kate Smith.

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