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This Week at St. Patrick's September 26, 2018

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Grace and peace. I am excited about tonight’s National Conversation on Civility. Jennifer Gerhard and I will be attending and hope to see some of you there, too. I do believe it is our Christian responsibility to love all people. That is not an easy endeavor and requires a considerable amount of openness to listening and empathizing with different ways of thinking and being. Jesus provided us with this example throughout his life and ministry. 
Episcopal priest and civil rights leader Pauli Murray (whom Yale recently renamed a college after) said, “When my brothers try to draw a circle to exclude me, I shall draw a larger circle to include them.” I am convinced that many of the issues that we struggle with right now are caused by only seeing what divides us and not our common goals and interests. 
On Sunday, I mentioned the four rules of a productive disagreement:

  • Frame it as a debate, rather than a conflict
  • Argue as if you’re right, but listen as if you’re wrong (and be willing to change your mind)
  • Make the most respectful interpretation of the other person’s perspective
  • Acknowledge where you agree with your critics and what you’ve learned from them 

(from Adam Grant as quoted in Coddling of the American Mind by Lukianoff and Haidt)
If you would like to hear more conversation about fostering civility in our common life (we really do need it), you can join the National Conversation on Civility via a live stream (7-9pm, tonight) by following this link


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