What is "Loving Dialogue"?
In early 2017, Abiding Peace began a community conversation that we have framed as our "Loving Dialogue." It began with a challenge that is facing many faith communities in our current cultural moment: our congregation includes people with a diversity of political viewpoints, and in the current divisive moment in American politics, those differences can make it hard for us to talk together about things that we care about, much less to talk about how our church can engage the call to serve the world around us.
The Loving Dialogue commitment is our effort to actively engage that challenge, rather than just avoiding it or reacting to it when it causes problems. As a community, we have started with the promises and call of our shared faith, and from that foundation we have developed a community commitment for how we will approach each other when we see things differently, and how we will call each other to live out our faith in our lives.
This commitment is not just a list of rules for playing nice and not rocking the boat. It is an orientation toward community that pushes us all to listen well and to seek transformation in ourselves, as well as in others. The times when we disagree are the times when we should lean in and seek a deeper conversation. We may not change each other's minds, but we can understand each other better, and we can also understand ourselves better by reflecting on the ways that our faith shapes our moral commitments
Foundations for Loving Dialogue
Because we believe…
that God is our refuge and strength (Psalm 46:1);
that God is faithful to save God’s people (Deuteronomy 7:9);
that our faith calls us to trust in a future filled with hope (Jer. 29:11);
that perfect love drives out fear (1 John 4:18);
that we are individually gifted and called together to be the body of Christ (Rom. 12:4-8); and
that we are called to love God and to love one another as ourselves (Matt. 22:36-40);
We commit to approach each other as equals with:
Love, Tolerance, Kindness,
Patience, Trust, Respect,
Acceptance, & Awareness of our individual complexity;
We commit to call each other to:
Faith, Careful Listening, Accountability, Responsibility, Compromise, Cooperation,
Peace, Growth, Action, Forgiveness, Inclusiveness, & REFORMATION;
Knowing that we will fail, and trusting in Christ’s saving grace to continually renew us and call us to new life.