Mennonite Church USA invites topics for Prayer and Conversation Roomby Anna Groff
Mennonite Church USA leaders invite topic suggestions for the Prayer and Conversation Room at Pittsburgh 2011 July 4-9.
Skilled, experienced facilitators will lead the conversations. Mennonite Church USA staff members are helping to schedule the room's conversation topics.
"We're trying to create a space where people can thoughtfully and prayerfully speak about what’s on their hearts and listen well to others," says André Gingerich Stoner, director of holistic witness and interchurch relations for Mennonite Church USA.
Leaders will assign topics to some of the 90-120 minute blocks of time and post them in the program book or in mPress, the convention daily newspaper. Some time periods may be open-ended and the participants involved would decide what to discuss.
The room will be located near the large space used for delegate sessions and adult worship and has been created in response to suggestions from delegates at previous conventions.
Stoner acknowledges the limitations of a 90-minute conversation among people without previous relationships, but he said it offers a space to practice healthy dialogue.
"The goal is for people with different perspectives in the church to be together in a way where we really listen to each other," Stoner says.
"This is part of a longer process," he says, adding that he hopes participants carry on these practices into their church and conference settings. "This is part of what it means to be a discerning community of faith."
Stoner poses the question to readers: "What are topics about which you would you like to listen and speak carefully with others that relate to the life and witness of our church?"
To suggest a topic, post a comment below or on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/themennonite. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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