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Spiritual Preparation, Session 4: Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

In "Love Connects Us," a Tapestry of Faith program

Find a place where you can be quiet with your thoughts. Close your eyes and breathe deeply for about five minutes, perhaps repeating a word or phrase to separate yourself from the activities of the day. When you feel settled and relaxed, think about a time when you reached out to someone who was very different from you. How did it feel to be open to someone whose background, perspectives, or ideas seemed very different from yours? Did it make you feel vulnerable? How?

Were you able to make a connection, despite your differences? How did you reach across barriers which could have limited your ability to communicate or find common ground? If your experience was not a positive one, how might it have been different?

Now, think of some assumptions you hold about others, perhaps people who may have different political views than yours or appear to have a background or lifestyle quite different from yours. How would it feel to be open to someone who you feel naturally inclined to turn away from, ignore, argue with, or attempt to convince to believe as you do? How could you overcome your negative assumptions and open yourself up to the other person? How could you accept them and offer hospitality to them, despite your differences?

You might also think about a time when you were welcomed by someone different from you. What was that like? How were you welcomed, and what difference did it make for you? Did you recognize their hospitality as "radical"?

Hold these thoughts and feelings in your mind, as you lead the participants in this session.

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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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