Friday, July 10, 2009

Deputies practice listening: Mission Conversation—Public Narrative

Deputy Char Vinik in conversation about resolution B033

Yesterday morning the deputies had an opportunity to practice the art and technique of public narrative in the first of three sessions called Mission Conversation. This first session focused on the “Story of Self;” subsequent sessions will broaden the conversation to the “Story of Us” and finally “Linking Self and Us to Now.”

As others around the table listened, each participant told a personal story of the origins of his or her ministry, followed by feedback from the group. Then the group reflected together on what they had learned from and about each other and how these learnings might be taken back into the larger community.

In a late afternoon session the House of Deputies used a similar technique when it convened as a non-legislative Committee of the Whole to discuss possible action to repeal resolution B033 from General Convention 2006. (That resolution has been generally interpreted as a moratorium on the consecration of gay bishops.) After a presentation by the Committee on World Mission on the history of the resolution and the options for dealing with it, the deputies were asked to spend the next half-hour in one-on-one conversation with someone they did not know, reflecting on three questions:
1. What is your story with respect to Resolution B033?
2. What is our story as a church with respect to B033?
3. What is God calling us to do now?

Our deputies Chip Stokes and Char Vinik have more about Mission Conversation and about the conversations in the House of Deputies on their blogs: and

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