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Handout 1: Questions for Reflection

Use these questions to explore the choices made by the members of the First Unitarian Society of Chicago as they considered changing their congregation's policy and practice of racial exclusion.

What conditions made it possible for Adams and Pennington to bring forward the issue of desegregation for congregational action?

What preparatory work must have been done?

Did the group have to take on this large question right then or could it have been postponed? On what basis might they have decided whether to postpone or go forward?

In what did Adams and Pennington initially place their faith?

In what did the dissenting board member initially place his faith?

As the debate unfolded, who made what choices?

Where were the turning points/moments of grace for the congregation?

In what did Adams place his faith when he asked the question about the purpose of the church?

In what ways were this decision process and its result reflective of our free faith?

What leadership wisdom does this story offer? Or, what does this story offer as a model for leadership?

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