Good Posture in Group Conversations
Summer renewal, in a congregation or community, happens behind the scenes, both when we are together, and, as we go our separate ways here and there, disperse into God’s far-reaching world of nature.
I hope you enjoy all that is ahead for you! For, sometimes, doing “our own thing” is just what we need to ready us all for the next fall, another school year, or a change ahead.
Of course, time away also shows us is that “going it alone” has its limits, too, and proves satisfying for only so long.
Last fall, I attended a workshop that had an extended time for small group conversation after the keynote presentation. The leaders of the workshop framed this time with specific “guidelines” that have application for many arenas in life.
Perhaps these “guidelines” will give you fodder for self-reflection as you are out and about this summer. I see them as challenging each of us to view our own wishes (or agendas!) as just one part of the collaborative work of any group. In group deliberations, work is done which powerfully shapes new things in families, neighborhoods, communities and congregations. And, new is good!
The ten "Shared Commitments in Conversation” are:
* Assume positive intentions
* Treat each other with dignity and respect
* Be genuine with each other and constructive in offering ideas, perspectives and feelings
* Listen attentively to seek understanding, not necessarily agreement
* It is everyone’s responsibility to be sure no one person dominates the conversation and that every person who wishes has a chance to speak
* Stay with the question
* Speak for yourself, not someone else
* Agree not to cross talk or start side conversations
* Recognize you are part of something larger
* Commit to the whole, not just your piece
Enjoy some time alone and away this summer. And, when you’re in town, join us for worship. But, wherever you are, follow the nudges from God’s Spirit which seek to ready you, again, to be part of the powerful experience of group conversations and decision-making in all arenas of life.
May all of us be renewed and ready, when BPC committees and teams gear up for a new school year, and when God calls us to new things through those around us.
God’s peace, SARA
The heavens are telling the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Psalm 19:1