1. On Nov 4, I was one of 130 people in Wichita who attended an Amazing Faiths Dinner Dialogues sponsored by Global Faith in Action At each host home, around tables with 8 individuals of varying faith and non-faith traditions, we made new friends, listened (really listened!) to responses on various sets of questions that could have been answered by anyone sitting at the table. While eating a simple dinner provided by the host, each of us spoke from our hearts for 5 uninterrupted minutes in response to our questions which were drawn at random. A trained moderator ensured everyone was comfortable and kept the conversation moving on schedule. After a short break and while enjoying dessert, we each had 3 minutes, again uninterrupted, to share what we were taking away from the amazing dialogue we had just experienced from our new-found friends. Finally, the table was open for conversation and we were all eager to learn more about each person personally and the connections many of us had but didn't know it until after dinner. was hesitant to be part of this historic event, but am so grateful I was. At my table were a Muslim, a Jew, someone who was not affiliated with any specific religion, Christians of different faith traditions including Catholic. I learned something from each one of them and my mind was opened and challenged during what was truly an Amazing Faiths Dinner Dialogue It is my hope that there will be another opportunity to participate in a follow-up dinner. If you're invited to be part of it, you will be glad you said yes~Dinner participant
2. Last Thursday was the Amazing Faiths Dinner Dialogue. It was a few days ago now, but Iâ€™m still thinking about itâ€”about the stories I heard and the people I met. Dinner was wonderful. I ate the best lentil soup of my life, but it wasnâ€™t the food that made Thursday unforgettable. It was the community I saw in Wichita. I was honored to dine with a group of truly genuine people who were interested in learning more about each other.
The forum was organized to give everyone a chance to share. When a guest shared, others were asked to listen without responding. And that gave the evening a really inviting tone. Instead of listening to respond, we were listening to learn. It helped us all engage with one another and connect in a way that other discussion structures don't encourage. Instead of pointing out differences or interjecting with our opinions, we listened to each others experiences and found ourselves focusing on all those things that make us the same.By the time we reached the free discussion part of the evening, we were actively inquiring about traditions we were unfamiliar with or asking questions about others experiences. We didn't want to talk more about ourselves. We wanted to learn more about everyone else. People were exchanging numbers and emails. People made friends here with people very different from themselves.
I think the thing that made the biggest impression on me was the eagerness everyone had. The eagerness to learn more about each other and the eagerness each person had to make their community a better place. It was all very selfless. I hope the impression sticks with me and encourages me every day to consider people before I make my decisions.I âm already looking forward to next years dinner. This was the first time Iâ€™d ever been to an interfaith dinner. It helped me see Wichita in a whole new way. ~a Dinner participant
We continue to host our dinners at least once a year to bring people from all walks of life together. The pictures above represent just a few of the different dinners held during different years.
Beyond Tolerance Sermon Pastor Alan Stucky Please take a few moments to watch Pastor Alan Stucky’s “Beyond Tolerance” sermon, pastor of the First Church of the Brethren