Join us for an evening of storytelling and conversation with Irish writer Gareth Higgins, author of How Not to Be Afraid. Hosted by Mark Yaconelli. Sponsored by The Hearth, Peace House, and First Presbyterian Church of Ashland
The world seems terrifying. Whether your fear is about violence, shame, illness, money, meaning, or the collapse of certainty, you are not alone. Yet the power of the fear we feel depends on the story we tell about fear. Fight, flee, or freeze: are these are only options?
Growing up near the troubled city of Belfast, Gareth Higgins was schooled in suspicion, mistrust, and paranoia. Would someone be lurking behind the door? Was there a bomb under that car? Yet fear feeds on the stories we tell ourselves, Higgins claims, and in the pages of How Not to Be Afraid, he delves into the mechanisms of fear, as well as the quiet, immense strength of individuals and communities that refuse to let it reign.
Grounded in personal experience and expert reflection on violence, conflict transformation, and trauma recovery, Higgins traces vulnerability as strength to address seven common fears that plague each of us at some point in our lives. By examining such topics as the fear of being alone, the fear of not having enough, and the fear of violence and death, he invites readers into habits of hope rooted in Celtic spirituality and the mysteries of love.
In the rich spiritual, activist, and literary tradition of Walter Wink and Kathleen Norris, Higgins points us toward tenderness, empathy, and gentle encounter with each other and with our deepest and most relentless fears. He shows us how we can replace our narratives of fear and cynicism with better stories. Peace is the way to itself, he reveals, and when we choose this path, our lives will never be the same.
Gareth Higgins was born in Belfast in 1975, grew up during the northern Ireland Troubles, and now lives in the US. He writes and speaks about the power of storytelling to shape our lives and world, peace and making justice, and how to take life seriously without believing your own propaganda. He is the co-founder of The Porch Community, the Wild Goose, New Story and Movies & Meaning festivals, and leads retreats in Ireland and the US. He is passionate about helping people discover the meaning of our own lives, and to learn from each other about how stories help us live better. www.garethhiggins.net
Date: Sunday, February 19, 2023
Location: First Presbyterian Church of Ashland (Corner of Walker and Siskiyou)