Consider these words from adult participants in a focus group conducted by the Commission on Appraisal, as reported in Engaging Our Theological Diversity (2005):
(UU Christians) understand exactly what (the humanists) feel, because their sense that "I am in the process of being thrown out of the house that I built," that's where we were—we understand that completely ... The question is to somehow change the system so that ... it doesn't hold that possibility anymore ... We tell the story of the increasing tolerance always, but we don't say, "And people lost their church."
Can you recall or imagine being pushed out of a religious home because of your theological beliefs? What thoughts or feelings arise for you as you remember or imagine such a scenario? What action did you, or might you, take in response to the feeling of being "pushed out?" What are you doing (or would you consider doing) to help ensure that people will not feel pushed out of their faith community because of their beliefs?
You may wish to ask participants to engage in this same spiritual practice so that they, too, arrive at the workshop centered and ready to engage with the material and the group.
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