Transitional times in faith communities may be accompanied by divisiveness about which changes are most urgent, how to achieve them, and the roles and limitations of realizing them. Change offers concerns as well as new opportunity. This Living Room Conversation is created with the intention of gathering individuals from a variety of viewpoints to discuss their hopes and dreams, and to discuss what a common agenda for the future would look like.
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Background reading (optional)
While you don't need to be an expert on this topic, sometimes people want background information. Our partner, AllSides, has prepared a variety of articles reflecting multiple sides of this topic.
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Want to listen to an actual Living Room Conversation?
We have many podcasts and videos of actual Living Room Conversations, on many topics. Click HERE to listen or view.
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Now that you are all together, here we go!
This Living Room Conversation flows through five rounds of questions and a closing. Some rounds ask you to answer each question. Others feature multiple questions that serve as conversation starters — you need only respond to the one or two you find most interesting.
Before you begin your conversation, please go over the Conversation Ground Rules with your participants.
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One. Why are we here?
What interested you or drew you to this topic?
Two. Your core values
- what sense of purpose or duty guides you in life? What is your mission statement?
- what would your best friend say about who you are and what makes you tick?
- what are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country, now and long-term?
Three. Your thoughts and concerns.
Remember that the goal of this Living Room Conversation is for each participant to listen to and learn about the different opinions within the group to see where you might share interests, intentions and goals.
- What is the promise of our faith community to its members? To the surrounding community?
- How are we living up to our promise to each other and to our faith promises?
- If you could change one thing about our faith community, what would it be? Why would you want this?
- If you were creating a reconciling agenda for change to uniting and reactivating our community, what would be on it?
- in one sentence, share what was most meaningful or valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation;
- what new understanding or common ground did you find within this topic?
- has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?
Five. Accomplishment and moving forward
- name one important thing that was accomplished here;
- is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?
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