Civil discourse is possible – we’ve seen it!

Civil discourse is possible – we’ve seen it!

Is it possible to engage with friends in a friendly yet meaningful conversation about topics we care about? Can civil discourse still happen, given the current climate in our country?

The Rev. Linda Taylor is leading Living Room Conversations (LRC) at St. Luke’s in the Meadow, Fort Worth, every third Tuesday at 7 pm. The next conversation is October 17. All are welcome.  You can come to one LRC without having to attend all of them. See map below story.

Taylor recently retired from working in the Diocese of El Camino Real in California and moved to Fort Worth. She is licensed in our diocese and is serving as interim at St. Luke’s, Stephenville, through Christmas.

Living Room Conversations was founded in 2010 to focus on revitalizing civil discourse through conversation. Their format facilitates structured conversations among people of differing views and backgrounds and “through these conversations we hope to increase understanding of various issues, build relationships, and pave the way for collaborative and inclusive problem-solving.”

The mission of LRC is to “cultivate warm and respectful engagement among people who may hold profoundly different points of view, and build relationships that generate understanding and enable collaborative problem-solving.”

If you share their vision of “a world in which people who have fundamental differences of opinion and backgrounds work together with respect – and even joy – to realize the vibrant future we all desire,” then you might want to take part in a Living Room Conversation.

A recent article by Taylor about Living Room Conversations was picked up by the Huffington Post on September 28. Read it below or here.

Huffington Post article

Living Room Conversations, Contributor
Living Room Conversations offers an open-source format to facilitate structured conversations among people of differing views and backgrounds. Through these conversations we hope to increase understanding of various issues, build relationships, and pave the way for collaborative and inclusive problem-solving.
It Really Is All About Me

By Rev. Linda Taylor

I just discovered that the thing I love best about Living Room Conversations is purely selfish.

Living Room Conversations ring a lot of my bells. I am dedicated to peacemaking and conflict resolution. I am crazy about building relationships with and between people who disagree. I am zealous about practicing the civil discourse that can heal our divisions. I am passionate about seeking and discovering the common ground that enables people to work together to bring about positive change in our world. I experience Living Room Conversations as contributing to all these things, and I am in love with the process.

I’m in love with the process, and today I discovered that what I love best about it is all about me. I participated in a Living Room Conversation on the topic of Democracy, Extremism and Outliers. As I entered the conversation, I had no answer to the question: How do you decide what is extreme, or so outside the norm, that it’s “crazy” or “dangerous” to society? Like many of us in the days since Charlottesville, I had reflected on the question from time to time, but I hadn’t found the understanding that I could own.

The answer for me came in the course of listening to others. The comments of two people brought my own thoughts and feelings into clarity. It was one of those light bulb moments when knowing comes full-blown into being.

It turns out that I sometimes don’t know what I think or what I believe until I hear someone else say it. Living Room Conversations has given me more self-awareness. It’s the thing I love best—a precious gift that just requires that I show up, listen, pay attention and speak my truth as I discover it.

Who knew?

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Rev. Linda Taylor is a Episcopal Priest, Spiritual Director, and Conflict Coach. Linda’s ministry focuses on helping people deepen relationships with themselves, each other and the Holy. “I am in love with this process. Living Room Conversations teach the kind of respectful civil discourse that is the bedrock of civic empowerment. Relationships are built one conversation at a time, and discovering common values builds relationships that enable us to work together to bring about positive change in our world.”