As a follow-up to our Better Together Sunday last year, Church and Society Ministry Team members invite you to discuss personal experiences and faith-based responses to societal issues at small group on-campus meetings. The church meetings are Sunday, April 15 at  9:30 am in the Fireside Room (F8) with Career YAL (Young Adult Lifegroup) and at 12:15 pm for anyone who’s interested in A2, the church parlor. There are two other small group VIP meetings on Sunday, April 22 and Sunday, April 29 at 10:45 am, in A2 (the Parlor). RSVP to Dave Ryan, chair of the team, or to the church office, 602.840.8360, or simply go to one of the meetings. The responses will inform the ministry team and VIP leaders of which societal issues are most pressing. The VIP (Valley Interfaith Project) Delegates Forum scheduled for Tuesday, May 1 at 6:30 pm in the PVUMC Fellowship Hall.
Many of us struggle with how to respond to inequality in all its forms, access to education, access to healthcare, the opioid crisis, how to feel safe in our schools and communities, and more. The small groups will allow you to take an hour to talk about issues that matter most to you. Following the meetings, the team members will present the findings to a larger VIP Delegates Forum on Tuesday, May 1. The collective wisdom and experiences from PVUMC and other VIP institutions will help shape the VIP Human Development agenda and our discussions with policymakers during the coming months.

When you meet, we ask you to use “Holy conferencing.” How we talk to and about each other is as important as the decisions we make together, and when we exercise deep spiritual maturity, we can better relate to and even love one another in spite of our differences.

Following are the eight principles of holy conferencing, as proposed by UMC Bishop Sally Dyck:
1) Every person is a child of God. (1 John 4:20-21)
2) Listen before speaking. (Romans 14:1)
3) Strive to understand from another’s point of view. (Phil. 2:6-8; Phil. 2:3-5)
4) Strive to reflect accurately the views of others. (Matthew 12:36-37)
5) Disagree without being disagreeable. (Eph. 4:25-27, 29; 5:1-2a)
6) Speak about issues; do not defame people. (Matthew 5:21-22)
7) Pray, in silence or aloud, before decisions. (Luke 6:27-28)
8) Let prayer interrupt your busy-ness. Begin by asking God to help us listen,
love, and be open to the movement of God through us and others.
© 2012, Bishop Sally Dyck, Minneapolis, Minn.; Eight Principles of Holy Conferencing: A
Study Guide for Churches and Groups by Bishop Sally Dyck, The United Methodist Church.

Let us pray that we would all approach each of our days seeking Grace with an attitude of gratitude.


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