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February 2022 E-News
Crucial Conversations
"The mistake most of us make in our crucial conversations is we believe that we have to choose between telling the truth and keeping a friend.”

― Kerry Patterson, from Crucial Conversations

How are you doing talking with people who hold different views than you?
According to research done by the Crucial Conversations team, 42% of people polled report times of silently fuming and stewing about disagreements, 39% report ruminating about all the things they would say if they had the courage to do so, 19% have faked agreement, and 14% have severed relationships. I have done many of those things. In the meantime, according to a recent story on NPR, more and more people are moving to live closer to people with similar political views as them. As a society, we are not doing so well at having hard conversations.
So last night twenty of us gathered on a LumZoom call to talk about how to have "Crucial Conversations," defined as a discussion between two or more people where stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong. As Al Switzler (one of the authors of Crucial Conversations) notes, tools for these discussions only matter if you live or work with or near other people. Which is pretty much all of us, all the time. Especially these days, in our increasingly fractured and splintered world. 
Our theme for the year is Loving our Neighbors. Most of us aren’t great at loving our neighbor if he or she sees the world differently than we do. Getting better at these kinds of hard conversations not only fits our theme, but also fits our long-time mission of deepening relationships. So we will continue to host sessions like these, including one coming up on compassionate communication (look for an announcement in early March). Hope you can join us!

Doug sig
Agree to Disagree
My friend Caroline was an ultra–conservative Republican. I, on the other hand, am a left leaning Democrat. A devout attendee at the Crossroads Baptist Church in Arlington, Virginia, Caroline’s strict adherence to her Protestant faith was paramount. Even Harry Potter was under suspicion for his inclination toward wizardry. (I saw every movie!)
On the face of it, our friendship was doomed. She, speaking with conservative passion flying from her lips; I, retorting back with liberal ire. But whenever the temperature rose too high, Caroline would stop and say, “Let’s agree to disagree.”

Renting space in the same pottery studio, Caroline and I became fast blooming friends. I needed a kiln; she lent me hers. She ran out of clay; I gave her mine. Sharing a similar passion for art, our connection was seamless, growing through common purpose and joy.
Looking to nature for creative ideas, we gathered mushrooms of varying shapes. Wildflowers gentle in beauty and grace lured us with enchanting color and sway. An oversized acorn was a natural treasure, and a piece of broken wood the perfect tool for trimming a bowl.
Even though we whirled in different orbits, we didn’t collide. We accepted our divergent beliefs and moved on. We’d always ooh and ah over every piece that emerged from her kiln; she happily accepted my clay. We wrangled for years over the Bush v. Gore election, but we never took for granted all the many things we shared in common.
Alice Barbera
Reflection Question

What approach will you take to your next "Crucial Conversation?"

Upcoming Events
Online Book Club
"Women Becoming"

Discussing Glad Farm by Catherine Marenghi
Led by Becca Perry-Hill
March 2nd, 12-1pm ET

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Online Event
"Wondering in the Wilderness"

A Call to Connect with the Spirit in Each Other
Led by Julie Demaree
March 5th, 12-2pm ET

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Online Event
"Mystics for Everyday Living"

This month discussing Dr. Catherine Meeks
Led by Dan Quinlan & Betsy Perry
March 9th, 7-9pm ET

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Online 6-Week Series
"Wondering in the Wilderness"

A Call to Connect with the Spirit in Each Other
Led by Julie Demaree
Meets Weekly on Saturdays, 12-1pm ET
March 12th - April 16th

To learn more, click here.
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Keep in Touch
Let us know what we can do for you.

Doug Wysockey-Johnson doug@lumunos.org    
Dan Quinlan dan@lumunos.org 
Rebecca Perry-Hill becca@lumunos.org
Alice Barbera alice@lumunos.org