It is said that “the shortest distance between two hearts is a story,” and on Sept. 23, from 10 a.m. to noon, a story-sharing event will be offered at Doing Grief Community Healing Project in Sun City.
The Story Circles program is led by Rev. Susan Princehouse, Story Circle facilitator and retired United Church of Christ minister.
“Story circles are a wonderful way of listening deeply to each other as we share our experience, strength and hope,” stated Princehouse. “My life is enriched every time I participate in a story circle. I’m delighted to be facilitating this fall event.”
The Healing Project opened its doors in March 2023 to provide grief support and education for those suffering life-shifting loss: death, broken relationships, aging, economic challenges, illness, injury and more. Healing Project programs include artistic experiences, spiritual enrichment program, and community-building events, such as the Story Circles program on Sept 23 that will focus on “Stories of Forgiveness.”
John Genette, co-founder of the Institute for Civil Dialogue and the Storyscope Project, will offer a brief introduction on story circles, talk about the spiritual dimensions of sharing stories and provide an easy way to construct a narrative using three basic elements of story structure: “normal, change, new normal.”
“In a story circle, participants are invited to recall a brief personal story based on a theme,” Genette explained. “After everyone shares, we reflect together on how the stories connect.”
Genette has trained more than 100 people to facilitate story circles, including facilitators for Arizona Interfaith Power & Light’s statewide initiative, “Sacred Earth, Common Ground.” After working to facilitate dialogues in the political arena for over a decade, Genette began producing Story Circle events in 2016.
“There’s a lot of resistance to engaging in civil conversations on hot topics,” Genette said, “but when we share personal stories, ‘otherness’ melts away. We see one another’s authenticity, we see our commonality.”
Participants are asked to RSVP at Connect@DoingGrief.com or on the Healing Project’s website, DoingGrief.com. Suggested donations of $5 to $10 per person will be collected at the door, but no one will be turned away.
“We can learn ‘things’ about people by asking for facts; where were you born, where do you live now, what do you do for a living, etc.,” Princehouse added, “but we really only get to know people, and ourselves, through sharing our stories.”
Doing Grief Community Healing Project is located at the Interfaith Chapel for Healing — The Church of the Palms, 14808 N. Boswell Blvd. Those of all faiths or no faith are welcome.
For information about the Story Circles program or other Healing Project programs such as drum circles, labyrinth walks, sound healing, grief support and education, visit DoingGrief.com, or call 602-315-8480.