Dear People’s people,

It is a challenging time to be a community together. There is disagreement about some parts of the bylaws passed in February. We are relearning what it means to be a church now that some of us are gathering in person again. We are relearning how to be humans in relationship with other humans.

Your board and I believe that one important piece of moving forward together as a church is conversations. We are planning a series of Congregational Conversations over the next several months. We know that there is a collective wisdom that we find when we are together–curious, listening, and speaking our truths. The first Congregational Conversation will be focused on Listening Across Generations. We were inspired to begin here because of the generational divisions we witness in our church that have been increased by the pandemic – and the powerful work on these divides that Rev. Jill mentioned in her recent sermon. One of the greatest gifts and greatest challenges of our church is that we are a multigenerational community, including babies, elders and everyone in between. This Listening Across Generations will be a time to ask questions and listen and learn about other people’s life experiences and hopes for the church. These conversations will be structured in such a way that each age group present will get a chance to speak uninterrupted and respond to questions from people of other ages.

To make these conversations as accessible as we can, we are holding two sessions – Sunday May 15, at 12:30pm in person at the church and Tuesday May 17 at 7pm on Zoom. A light lunch and childcare will be provided on the 15th. (If childcare or anything else would enable you to attend on the 17th, please let me know.) We encourage everyone in the church attend one or both sessions, ready to share and ready to listen. You can RSVP here, so we know how many to expect.

I strongly encourage you to attend these sessions, to speak your truth and to listen with openness. It is in conversation with each other that we will find our ways forward together.

The team leading this congregational conversation project is board members Donna McClurkan, Tom Hackley, Karen Friedel and me. We have ideas for the topics for future conversations – and we would love to hear what you think. Please be in contact with us if you have questions or suggestions for future conversations.

Rev. Rachel

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