Listening in Lent: Acts of Reconciliation
March 1 - April 16
Based on a suggestion from a United Methodist pastor in North Carolina, we are encouraging members of our congregation to participate in a listening project. Find individuals outside our congregation who have a different point of view about current issues than you do. Ask each individual if he/she would be willing to tell you about their point of view and how they arrived at it. Then simply listen. When the individual is done talking, try to summarize what was said to make sure you heard correctly. Then offer your thanks for their willingness to explain.
Possible current issues to ask about:
- the recent presidential election
- gay marriage
- gun ownership
- another issue of your choosing
That's it. Don't give your point of view or try to correct misconceptions. Would you be willing to try this with one person? With five? In the context of Lent, this is an exercise in reconciliation and humility, a way to reconnect with others during a time of national division. Praying both before and after a listening session will help ground you. At the end of March, there will be an evening session in which people can discuss what they experienced.
Questions? Talk to Carol Hodges or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.