Sunday, April 2, 2017

It's not about Us vs. Them - a SOC Town Hall

The Southern Conference of the United Church of Christ has been sponsoring Town Halls throughout the conference on the State of Church in Society.  There are still some town halls scheduled in easy driving distance (Burlington (April 4), Haw River (April 5)) - we hope you will attend one of them (see page 2 for list).

Gary and Jane Smith and Shirley Birt attended the event hosted by Holly Springs UCC.  Jane reports, "This was not at all what I expected.  I expected something very think-y with a few talking heads and time for Q&A.  Instead, this was a carefully planned opportunity to allow us to hear one another respond from the heart about divisive topics in the church and society:   what we think, what we feel, and - importantly - how our faith is mixed up in that. Conference Minister Dr. Edward Davis did an impressive job of creating a safe space while still pushing us a bit out of our comfort zones.  I gained so much from hearing what other people had to say - people whose life experiences and ways of worshipping are different from mine.  Even though I am an introvert, I felt safe.  It was fun; it was moving.  The spiritual context - including a concluding worship - made all the difference for me.  I was particularly interested in how Rev. Dr. Davis kept this a conversation about the church - how we are together, what divides us, why we do what we wish we didn't, and how we connect to people outside the church (especially young people).  I wish everyone at CUCC attended so we could talk about it in the months to come."

From the flyer:
"Now is the time for us to engage in 'Healthy Dialogue' that captures the essence of who God is calling us to be!  What unifies us?  What divides us?"

Questions were about:
Environmental justice/climate change
Racism
Income/inequality
Immigration reformed
Religious Intolerance