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Midwest District Holy Conferencing Sessions
July 31 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Midwest District is holding the first of three Holy Conferencing Sessions on Wednesday, July 31 at 7pm led by Naomi Garcia at Pierson: Heritage UMC (19931 W Kendaville Rd., Pierson). Wondering what “Holy Conferencing” is? Click HERE to read DS Margie’s blog post, “Can We Talk?” or read the guidelines below to learn more.
Would you like to attend one of the sessions? Please RSVP to Liz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The first Holy Conferencing Session is Wednesday, July 31 at 7pm led by Naomi Garcia at Pierson: Heritage UMC (19931 W Kendaville Rd., Pierson).
- The second Holy Conferencing Session will be Thursday, September 19 at 6:30pm at Marne UMC (14861 Washington Street, Marne, 49435) led by Nichea VerVeer Guy.
- The third Holy Conferencing Session will be held at Holland First UMC on a date to be determined later this fall.
Guidelines for Holy Conferencing: What God Expects of Us
Every person is a child of God. Always speak respectfully. One can disagree without being disagreeable.
As you patiently listen and observe the behavior of others, be open to the possibility that God can change the views of any or all parties in the discussion.
Listen patiently before formulating responses.
Strive to understand the experience out of which others have arrived at their views.
Be careful in how you express personal offense at differing opinions. Otherwise dialogue may be inhibited.
Accurately reflect the views of others when speaking. This is especially important when you disagree with a position.
Avoid using inflammatory words, derogatory names, or an excited and angry voice.
Avoid making generalizations about individuals and groups. Make your point with specific evidence and examples.
Make use of facilitators and mediators.
Remember that people are defined, ultimately, by their relationship with God — not by the flaws we discover, or think we discover, in their views and actions.
We believe Christians can discuss important issues without the acrimonious debate and parliamentary maneuvering that can divide a group into contending factions. We see too many examples of that in secular society. We believe the Holy Spirit leads in all things, especially as we make decisions. We want to avoid making decisions in a fashion that leaves some feeling like winners and others like losers.
We can change the world through honest conversation on matters about which we are passionate.
We offer our thanks to the participants at The Global Young People’s Convocation and Legislative Assembly, sponsored by the Division on Ministries with Young People, through the Discipleship Ministries, held in January 2007 in Johannesburg, South Africa, for inspiring the framework of these guidelines. They adopted similar guidelines for Christian Conferencing at the convocation. This work is based on guidelines for “Holy Conferencing” that emerged from the United Methodist “Dialogue on Theological Diversity” in February 1998.