Week 2’s chaplain Zina Jacque to explore theme of ‘emerging’ for sermon series



The Rev. Zina Jacque is moving. As she stood amid her shelves of books, she tried to figure out which ones to take and which ones to leave.

“In times of transition, I reach back for ancient texts that are solid,” she said. “The Howard Thurman section spoke to me, especially his book Meditations of the Heart. And that is where I got the idea for the theme of my preaching this week: emerging.”

Jacque will serve as the chaplain at Chautauqua for Week Two. She will preach at the 10:45 a.m. Sunday morning ecumenical worship service in the Amphitheater. Her sermon title is “In an Emergent Moment.” 

She will also preach at the 9 a.m. Monday through Friday morning worship service in the Amp. Her sermon titles include: “Destined to Emerge” (both Monday and Tuesday, with two different scriptures as text), “Emerging with a Little Help from My Friends,” “Even if No One Knows, Emerge” and “Choice, in an Emergent Moment.”

Inspiration for her daily sermons came from the jack pine tree, which needs fire for its seeds to emerge; caterpillars, who need to turn to goo in order to be butterflies; and flowers that bloom through leaf clutter at the side of the road. 

“During times of national emergency, it is the fires of the time that cause the emergence of a seed that is brave enough to emerge,” Jacque said. 

“At a cellular level, the imaginal cells that cause metamorphosis always knew what the caterpillar would become, but the caterpillar did not know. We have to exercise our right to emerge, to demand change.”

And that work, she said, isn’t done alone. 

“Women who are named in the Bible are always paired, even with a foil,” she said. “Even if you are only a bit player, like the first Tamar, you are important. She was only four generations from David, and Jesus’ genealogy could have stopped with her. Finally, we have to choose to birth what God has chosen.”

Jacque has been the lead pastor at the Community Church of Barrington in Barrington, Illinois. She is moving to Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia to work with her seminary friend, the Rev. Howard-John Wesley. Alfred Street was founded in 1803 by enslaved and formerly enslaved people. She has served on the staffs of multicultural, urban and suburban churches, and she spent 20 years working in the areas of education, counseling and support programs.

Jacque was the founder and first executive director of the Pastoral Counseling Center of Trinity Church (Episcopal) in Boston. The center is now in its 18th year serving the greater Boston area. Previously, Jacque served as the Protestant chaplain at Bentley College, now Bentley University, and as the executive director of the Boston TenPoint Coalition, where she served as a key member of the Boston program of violence reduction, Operation Ceasefire.

Jacque holds a doctorate in theology and a master of divinity degree from Boston University, a master’s degree from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University. She has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago and Boston University. She served as a chaplain at Chautauqua in 2019.

Tags : Chaplain of the weekchaplain-in-residenceMorning Woshipweek twoZina Jacque

The author Mary Lee Talbot

Mary Lee Talbot writes the recap of the morning worship service. A life-long Chautauquan, she is a Presbyterian minister, author of Chautauqua’s Heart: 100 Years of Beauty and a history of the Chapel of the Good Shepherd. She edited The Streets Where We Live and Shalom Chautauqua. She lives in Chautauqua year-round with her Stabyhoun, Sammi.