Our Stories, Our Lives

Gather the Elders
January 24, 2020, 8:30 to 12:30
Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 E. River Road, Tucson

The 11th annual Gather the Elders, “Our Stories, Our Lives,” will be held on Friday, January 24, 2020, from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Tickets are $20, payable at the door. The day begins with a delicious catered breakfast and the program kicks off at 9.  

I will be one of two speakers at this yearly gathering presented by The Center for Community Dialogue & Training, a program of Our Family Services. This is from their newsletter:

Penelope Starr founded Odyssey Storytelling, a monthly storytelling series in Tucson, and is the author of “The Radical Act of Community Storytelling: Empowering Voices in Uncensored Events.” Kathleen Roberts, a longtime certified personal coach and educator on personal growth topics, helps clients approach their lives “as the Art that you are continually creating.”

Together they will provide information and inspiration about the stories we tell about our lives – including how our stories can be among our greatest resources in the aging journey.

Following each presentation, participants will gather in facilitated Wisdom Circles to share, discuss and connect. Many people say the Wisdom Circle discussions are the best part of Gather the Elders.

But wait, there’s more! Besides the full breakfast, other highlights include gentle guided Qi Gong exercises and displays by service providers who cater to elders.

Whether you’re seeking to expand your circle of friends, spark new conversations or deepen your connection with others, the insights gained from this annual event are a true inspiration.

We hope you’ll register for this very special event — and also that you’ll attend a monthly Elder Circle as a way to keep your stories alive throughout the year.

We look forward to seeing you at the 2020 Gather the Elders!


Both of our speakers at the 2020 Gather the Elders, Penelope Starr and Kathleen Roberts, place a big focus on the importance of sharing our stories – for our personal growth as well as to strengthen our community.

On her website The Art of Aging, Kathleen Roberts writes,

“Human beings are storytellers. We take what we see and experience and create stories about those experiences. We take the concrete facts of life and weave fictions about what they mean, who we are as a result, what our expectations are, etc. […] Our stories are who we are, who we believe ourselves to be. They dictate the decisions and actions of our lives. They give our lives shape and meaning. […]

Our larger stories are easy to identify, but the smaller, internal ones may not be so easy to figure out. We internalize stories as children based on how we were raised and taught. […] [When] we take a look at what our stories are and try to become conscious of those deep stories that no longer work in our favor, […] [we] can choose: Is this what I want to believe? Is this helpful? What is another story that does work for me and will help forward my life?”

Our other wonderful speaker, Penelope Starr, author of “The Radical Act of Community Storytelling“, is the founder of Odyssey Storytelling, a local organization that hosts monthly events where people are invited to tell ten minute personal stories on a theme to a live audience. The stories are not read or memorized, they are told from the life experiences and creativity of the teller.

Odyssey Storytelling has been around for more than 15 years, and their popularity in the community keeps growing: they recently moved into a new performance venue and introduced a wildly popular podcast.

Posted in Past Events