Grace and peace. I’ve been preaching about the polarization that exists in our common life. My thesis is that we can change this if we work in community to honor the goodness of every human being, stretch our listening to hear other viewpoints, and to admit that we might be wrong. This kind of work is not done alone or by consuming the media that favors our way of thinking. It is done in community with a spirit of grace and truth.
With that in mind, I would like to introduce two opportunities for us at St. Patrick’s to engage in this important spiritual work. First, I would like to introduce you to the Open Mind Project. This online tool can help you understand the way you are thinking and offer strategies to help make a shift toward being more open. The work is done online through a free module.
How to use OpenMind
1.Go to the following link to access OpenMind: https://openmindplatform.org/app-user
2.Create a username and password with GuidedTrack. This will enable you to save your progress and log in from different devices.
3.After creating your username and password, you will be prompted to enter an access code. Enter: StPatricks2018 (case sensitive).
Please note: OpenMind is divided into 5 interactive steps, each of which takes 15-20 minutes to complete.
The second is A National Conversation on Civility sponsored by the American Psychological Association and the National Institute for Civil Discourse. The conversation will be held at the Jack Morton Stage at the George Washington University on September 26 from 7-9pm. One of the speakers at the conference is Jonathan Haidt, the author of The Righteous Mind. We studied The Righteous Mind during the 2016 election cycle and his upcoming book The Coddling of the American Mind will be released next week. Jennifer Gerhard and I will be attending the September 26 conversation. If you are able to go, please register online and let me know, so that we can look for you.
I also want to hear from you about books/articles/workshops that have transformed the way you live. I want to gather these resources and share them across the parish. I was changed by The Righteous Mind because it opened me to a new way of thinking and gave me a broader understanding of the people I encounter every day. I know that there are many other resources out there that I have not encountered. So, please share your resources (include the title and how it influenced you). I will include a section in future issues of This Week at St. Patrick’s to highlight our collective wisdom.
I hope that you will join me in the important work of collaboration and civil discourse. I believe that communities like St. Patrick’s are posed to be instruments to shift our common life toward a spirit of love and grace. We can’t do it alone, so let’s work together.