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Tenth Biennial Convention of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
July 21 - 24, 2005
Winnipeg, Manitoba

In Mission for Others
Home » In Convention » 2005 Winnipeg » Same Sex Blessings » Guidelines for Listening Send to a friend     print

Guidelines for Listening Circles

  1. When your group has gathered, make the following introductory statement:

    We are gathering now to have the opportunity to discuss the Same-Sex Blessing motion away from the confines of parliamentary process. We are hoping that these listening circles will allow more convention delegates to have the chance to express their views, their hopes, and their concerns. In order to facilitate the process we have come up with a list of guidelines to help order our convention.

  2. Read the guidelines:

    1. We are going to use a talking stick. The talking stick will be in the middle of the circle. If you want to speak you need to go into the middle of the circle to pick up the stick. You may speak from the centre or return to your place to speak. When you are done speaking you return the stick to the middle of the circle.
    2. In order that we can hear from as many people as possible we are going to limit those speaking to two minutes.
    3. And to make sure that everyone has a chance to speak who wishes to speak, no one may speak for a second time until everyone who wishes to speak has had their chance.
    4. Remind people to speak and listen respectfully to each other. This means modulating your tone of voice and choosing your words carefully when you are speaking, and to not jump to any conclusions but rather to carefully listen to what each person has to say.

  3. Ask for questions of clarification.

  4. Begin with prayer: Holy Spirit, come upon us now. Come in to this place. Come into this time. Guide us in our speaking and our listening. Open our ears and hearts and minds so that we may truly listen to each other and to your presence in our midst. I Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

  5. Begin the process!

  6. At the end of your time, thank the participants.

    I want to thank you all for your participation in this listening circle. This is not an easy matter for us to discuss and we have differing opinions. And so in particular I want to thank you for the respect with which you have both spoken and listened to each other.

  7. Close with prayer:

    Gracious and loving God we thank you for this time of sharing. We thank you because we have felt your presence with us. As we leave this place and reflect on the things that we have heard, equip us with gifts of wisdom and discernment. Help us to continue to care for each other in the midst of our discussions and disagreements. These things we ask in Jesus' name. Amen.

  8. Dismiss people to break.

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