We continue our reflection on God’s call to us through the ELCA’s “60-Day Journey Toward Justice in a Culture of Gun Violence.”
DAY 6: Giving an effective invitation to discuss gun violence prevention
“Christians need an effective invitation to talk, one that makes them feel comfortable and safe in sharing their views with others. This will vary from group to group and depend upon their context and past experiences. Church often has not been a safe place to talk; people in many congregations have some painful memories of experiences which make them anxious about having public conversation in a congregation or a group. They also have other memories which make them more hopeful about having such conversations in the future. When you organize a conversation, appeal to these more hopeful memories and let people know in every way possible that efforts will be made to make this a ‘safe place’ to talk.
“Congregations are safe places to talk through social issues when there is a true desire to listen to others, even when some people do not agree with them or when what they have to say is painful to hear. They are also safe places when there is genuine respect for all participants in the conversation and people are not put down, either for who they are or what they say. Their integrity is not put in question. Congregations are safe when people are free to speak their minds and hearts without negative consequences later.”
From “Talking Together As Christians About Tough Social Issues”
This post is part of the ELCA’s “60-Day Journey Toward Justice in a Culture of Gun Violence.”