"What we’ve learned is that being in this conversation teaches us a new way of multitasking. We have learned to love our neighbor and disagree, all at the same time.” - Reverend Linda Taylor
A Letter From Community Leader, Reverend Linda:
Peacemaking is a value close to our hearts in faith communities, but the division and conflict that are facts of daily life in the secular community are also part of our lives in faith. As people who have covenanted to support each other and act for the good of the world, faith communities often meet particular barriers as we seek ways to help people bridge differences.
We are dedicated to offering Living Room Conversations (LRC) resources to support faith communities in this holy work of increasing understanding and building peace, one conversation at a time.
My testimony: I first experienced Living Room Conversations in May 2016 at a conference in the Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real in California. Six of us from the church where I serve participated that day, and we immediately recognized it as a process that our church needed. Since then, we’ve had at least one LRC gathering each month, with attendance ranging from 6 to 32 people. Some people keep coming back, because they leave each session with a feeling of connection, well-being and hope. Some are inviting friends from the congregation and the larger community. The response of participants has been awe-inspiring, and word is spreading to other congregations. Additionally, I have used LRC in leadership retreats and in other situations. I am also working with congregations all over the country who are implementing LRCs in their communities. Along the way, we’ve learned how to multi-task: loving each other even when we disagree. We’ve learned a lot about best practices, and we want to share what we’ve learned, as well as encourage you to share with us and with others on this path.
This space will always be a work-in-progress because each experience teaches us something new. We are beginning with a FAQ page, a step-by-step process guide with a few handy hints, links to sermons and blogs, and templates for email invitations and newsletter announcements. All of the LRC topics are useful for congregations, and new topics of specific interest to faith communities are in the works. Let us know how we can best support you--and let us know if there are topics you would like to be developed
As you consider trying Living Room Conversations in your community, I encourage you to keep four things in mind:
The Living Room Conversation Guides support safe, honest and loving conversation in a way that has power to change the dynamic in your community.
Living Room Conversations are easy to do, whether 6 or 106 people are gathered for small group conversations.
You have the skills to do this. Living Room Conversations don’t need a facilitator or a team of experts, but we are available to help with any questions or concerns you may encounter.
We will keep building resources to support your work and hope that you’ll share what you learn with all of us.
Healthy congregations have conversations, and Living Room Conversations have been a blessing to me and to those with whom I’ve worked. I hope you’ll accept our invitation, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Getting started with Living Room Conversations
Living Room Conversations (LRC) Guides are easy-to-use, self-contained and facilitator-free. All you really need are copies of the conversation guide for each person and a place for people to gather. Even so, when we’re beginning a new journey, it’s sometimes helpful to have a map created by those who have made the trip. The steps below are suggestions that may be helpful. We’d love to hear what works best for you.