In preparation for the book discussion about The Faith Club, and for the Continuing Cultural Conversation on the book, which will take place in the library on March 11, you may want to visit the authors’ website: www.faithclub.com. On their site, they have some guidelines to start your own Faith Club. They give a list of core ideas that you should keep in mind as you have your discussions about some of these issues of faith. This is the list from the website:
10 Things You Should Know Before Your First Faith Club Discussion:
1. You’ve got stereotypes. Even if you think you’re the most open-minded human on the planet, chances are you’ve got some negative opinions related to religion. Whether you’re suspicious of doubters or believers, evangelicals or Episcopalians, Muslims, Jews, or Sikhs, you’re probably entering your first faith club conversation with some prejudice that you will have to overcome in order to truly understand the faith of those you meet.
2. You are vulnerable. When you open yourself to new ideas, you may feel vulnerable. Don’t mistake this for weakness. Accept it. It will lead to new understanding.
3. You can be a peacemaker. If heated words are flying among your faith club members, try to maintain a cool head and help each person see the other’s point of view.
4. There isn’t always a “right” answer. Although we usually wish there were, and some people might think they have it!
5. Your first reaction is your worst reaction. If you feel threatened by something another faith club member says, your first impulse will not be a thoughtful one. Before you attack, shut down, or cut the person off, reevaluate the comment and your response.
6. Secrets corrupt. If you’ve got a complaint, share it with your whole faith club, not with just one or two confidantes. You’ve got to be one for all and all for one.
7. Every opinion must be respected. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t politely try to change the opinion if you disagree with it.
8. No one else can do your homework. If a faith club member is unable to answer your questions about a religious issue, do your own research and share your findings with the group.
9. Invitations are expected. The faith you share with other faith club members will have greater meaning if you invite them to participate in a special service or religious tradition.
10. Get help. If your faith club experience leaves you confused about your own religion, find a cleric who can help you explore the issues that are frustrating you.
We hope that you will come to the library on
Saturday, March 11, 2012 at , having read the book, and share your thoughts with your neighbors. It is the intent of the Continuing Cultural Conversation initiative to establish open lines of communication within our diverse community for better understanding and harmony at home here in South Brunswick. Please join us.