Johan Smits (born in 1946) recently told that he had asked his daughter and her partner, who never came to church, if they still considered themselves to be Christians.
They said that they considered themselves Christian because they tried to live in a conscientious way as their own Christian parents had and did. They also wanted to convey that way of life to their own children... They did not see how attending church ceremonies could be helpful in filling in their lives. The unreal atmosphere around these ceremonies stood in their way. They were interested in meetings where the meaning of life would be discussed or other life questions.
This story can be seen as a backing for those who regularly organise dialogues on questions of conscience. It also makes sense to provide a dialogue model as elaborated here.
If you want to participate in rebuilding the wording of Christian faith, get together for a dialogue with faithful people (former) catholic, protestant, humanist or like-minded.
In dialogues one is listening carefully to one-another. One is trying to get a feeling of what somebody else is telling, to discover how a particular story goes with one’s own experience and notions. Appreciative inquiry can become fruitful.
You ask your grown up daughter or sun for instance for a talk about the aim of life.
"I am involved with a project to get many voices for issues on the agenda of a folk synod. If you would be able to come with two of your acquaintances, I will com with two of mine.
Autonomy of conscience
Love and fidelity
Hope and view
1 Getting acquainted
2 Sharing of experiences
3 Common sense
At 1 Participants introduce themselves, not professionally but for instance by telling what they think of a picture or of a statement, a song or a poem.
At 2 Participants share personal
experience and feeling at the chosen issue.
At 3 Participants can freely give utterance to common sense which they discover in the given stories.
At 4 In turn each participant is invited to to explain in which action the common sense could be used.
The person who wants to participate in a dialogue is asked to observe the following rules of conduct for himself and the others.
- Tell an appropriate story or consideration from your own perspective without any educating conclusion.
- Give each other ten minutes to fully develop a story. Be silent
- Be really curious. Ask only open questions
- Appreciate the story of others, do not judge. Every perspective and everyone's contribution counts.
- Allow it to be quiet for a while to search for correct answers.
- One of the participants must accept the task of ensuring that each participant is given enough time and that the four steps are taken in time.
In business, a circle is often formed for a conversation that is less personal but offers the opportunity to
involve a large group of people in a problem in a short period of time.
The management launches a problem and a number of possible decisions. Each person present is given the opportunity to express a motivated preference in a few words.
The picture on the right was taken during such a circular deliberation. On the agenda were thoughts and stories about difficult conscience decisions.