Leadership Council Update
Most of us have been involved in a family situation where part of the family is convinced it understands something in a way totally different from others in the family. Similarly, our Topeka First church family—and the United Methodist universal church family—is currently engaged in a situation where opposing views on church doctrine may split the denomination. Although Leadership Council believes it is imperative that church members ultimately have civil conversations on the issue, it believes that before we can gracefully begin such a conversation, we as a church need to review first steps on how to begin that conversation and how to converse with each other without being judgmental. To that end, Council and Church Staff will be assembling written resources for our congregation to read and providing speakers who are professionals in the area of conflict resolution to assist us in this process. For example, the highly regarded book “I Think You’re Wrong (But I’m Listening),” published in 2019 by conservative/liberal co-authors, is one resource Council intends to make available to members of our church. (If you are interested in being on the “read list,” please notify Tiwana.) Although the cover of the book refers to it as “a guide to grace-filled political conversations,” it is a helpful guide to facilitate any conversation with opposing viewpoints. Ironically and serendipitously, on the page opposite the Table of Contents, the authors quote Methodist Church Founder John Wesley: “Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike? May we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion? Without all doubt, we may. Herein all the children of God may unite, notwithstanding these smaller differences.” Amen. Richard Ross, Chair, Leadership Council.