Photo by Kathy Bozzuti-Jones
What conversations are you looking forward to? Catching up with a friend or relative? Brainstorming with a partner about a cool project? Planning your next vacation with your significant other(s)? Okay, now what conversations do you dread? It’s become a cliché to say that conversations among families or friends whose politics differ sharply is about as inviting as having a root canal, but only because it’s often true.
I hope that many of you were able to join this past Sunday’s Discovery class live. Dylan Marron and the Rev. Winnie Varghese talked about Dylan’s experience engaging with people who sharply disagree with him, which inspired his podcast, “Conversations with People Who Hate Me.” They asked how we might all apply some of what he’s learned to family gatherings or friendly discussions that take a turn toward the contentious.
This Sunday and next, we’ll gather online at 10am for a Discovery conversation in which we’re invited to reflect together on the presentation alongside our own experiences, anxieties, and aspirations. Dr. Susan Ward will facilitate. You can listen to the presentation here.
As you prepare to participate, here are a few reflection questions to think about:
- What is subversive about talking with people you disagree with? Have you had that experience? What did it feel like?
- What do you see as the difference between dialogue and debate? Do you naturally lean toward one? If so, how do you deal with the other?
- Dylan Marron advises that we each figure out how we want to use Social Media and stick to that. How would you say you want to use it?
See you in Discovery!
The interpreting and practicing of institutional laws and justice may seem way too sophisticated for children. But all over the Bible, including the Gospels and letters, it is children who are held up as the models to follow into the kingdom of heaven. I think children instinctively trust that what is “best” for them is “best” for all — and that any trust and promise is sacred. The Ten Commandments, aka “The Ten Best Ways,” are presented in the liturgy this Sunday, which is also World Communion Sunday and the Feast of St. Francis. We may not be able to physically come to the table this year, but we can always approach it as a child; with joy and eye-level with the promise of God’s abundant table.
This Sunday at 10am, we’ll gather for an opening assembly and then children can choose from two breakout groups. If you haven’t already, please register to join.
Preschool through 5th grade, 30 minutes
We’ll hear the story of the Ark and the Flood. Bring your pets or toy animals!
Whole People of God
2nd through 5th grade, 30–45 minutes
We’ll focus on Exodus 20:1–4, 7–9, 12–20. The Ten Commandments: Love God; love people; God loves us. What does “loving God” mean, or look like? What are the ways and rules in your life?
Join Discovery online (be sure to register if you haven’t already) for two informal conversations exploring issues and questions raised in the Rev. Winnie Varghese’s interview with Dylan Marron: How can we have constructive conversations with those whose views differ from ours, even radically? How can we practice really seeing one another, rather than as caricatures of one another? What can really be achieved in a hard conversation? Moderated by Prof. Susan Ward, Discovery Program Committee.
- Family Worship: Home Edition — a simple family-style service, published every Thursday, for you and your family to follow together at home anytime
- Prayer of St. Francis by Sarah McLachlan
- Another take on the St. Francis prayer by Kathy Bozzuti-Jones
- Five quick tips on soul care with Thomas Moore
- Develop your active listening skills
- Quote of the week: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” —James Baldwin