Wednesday, October 14, 7:00-8:30 – “American Police”

“Black Americans being victimized and killed by the police is an epidemic. A truth many Americans are acknowledging since the murder of George Floyd, as protests have occurred in all fifty states calling for justice on his behalf. But this tension between African American communities and the police has existed for centuries. This week, the origins of American policing and how those origins put violent control of Black Americans at the heart of the system.”

Thematically, this topic is related to both renewing our commitments to justice and to October’s theme of “deep listening” to the experiences of others which may be different from our own. The 1-hour, 4-minute podcast and transcript can be found here.


Wednesday, October 28, 7:00-8:30 – “Listening Deeply to Poetry”

In the Christian tradition, there is a practice of listening deeply to scripture, which is called Lectio Divina. The basic idea is to deeply listen to a text by reading it multiple times with different questions in mind each time. Some questions might be:

  • What FEELINGS arise?
  • What MEMORIES does it stir?
  • What MESSAGE does it have for you?(“words of comfort or challenge”)

Christians believe this is a powerful way to allow God to speak through the text. They often describe it as a “prayerful” way (versus “analytical”) way of reading.

This same technique can also be used with other types of writing. In this forum, participants will apply this lectio divina approach to two or three poems, reading each one through carefully three times and discussing what we hear as we listen deeply to the text. There is no need to prepare anything ahead of time. Just bring yourself, perhaps a love of poetry or a longing for deeper spiritual engagement, and an openness to listening in community.

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