Guidelines for Contributors

All voices are welcome here.   Everyone has something to teach; everyone has something to learn.  In submitting your posts, however, please remember that safety is initially more important than truth-telling. Without safety, there can be no deep listening and no collaborative searching. And, without these qualities, no truth can be discovered, shared, and celebrated.  Here are my three favorite guidelines.

Our #1 guideline is simple: Speak from your heart about things that are important to you.  Begin with sharing read-back lines and emotion(s).  Then tell about your experiences and your personal story.  Finally, weigh in with your smart, informed ideas.

As Michael Polanyi says, “The most important things cannot be said.”  Personal stories, however, cut through the fog created by the fact that my words make perfect sense to me because my experiences fill in the gaps.  When you hear my words, however, your experiences fill in the gaps and misunderstandings naturally arise.

Our #2 guideline follows upon this: Help others to find the truth and the flaws in their thinking/acting, but do so in such a way that you don’t silence their voices or create fear in those who might want to support them.

Our #3: Make use of biblical texts without appearing to be definitive and authoritative.  Every line in the bible has a cultural and historical backdrop far removed from our own. Key texts have also gone through a long history of usage in the life of the church, and, even today, the meaning of texts changes as they are being interpreted by persons situated in new contexts.  Consider ending your post by writing: “Have I missed something here?”

Thus it is better not to pontificate, as Jerry did, when she posted: “Any intelligent person can see that when Jesus said, ‘this is not mine to grant’ (Matt 20:23), he said this because (a) he was totally unaware that he was the Messiah and (b) he was waiting for God to assign places in the world to come.”

Jerry later modified her post as follows: “Matt 20:23 appears [to me] to be saying that Jesus (at this point in time) was unaware that he would be the Messiah (who would appoint who would sit on his right and left) and that he was waiting for God to assign places in the world to come.  Have I missed something here?”

Her final five words welcomed transparency and dialogue.  Brava!

Share below read-back lines or guidelines you want to propose.

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