What the Conversations Are Like
Indianapolis Interfaith Conversation Network: The Conversations
Indianapolis Interfaith Conversation Network: Community-building focused on relationship and peace through dialogue: A network of small-group conversation where friends confront their faith for individual learning and growth to benefit the community.
Welcome home. Here you can be yourself. We have adopted a home-based model for our discussions. To remove the emotional, demographic, and ideological barriers it is helpful to first remove the physical barriers: Tables and chairs are bigger obstacles than couches and coffee tables.
Food & Beverage
Food… Christians experience table fellowship. Jewish families hold sacred the Friday night Shabbat meal. Muslims find meaning in the fasting and feasting cycle of Ramadan. Those without an institutional faith find meaning in a trip to the Farmer’s Market. A meal is best when shared. Our conversations always begin with the sharing of food.
Beverage… Our conversations help us explore our identity and uplift the community. This is serious business that requires maturity. The hosts of our conversations are welcome to provide beer and wine if that is the norm within their homes. We acknowledge that some faith traditions do not allow the consumption of alcohol, and we respect the individual for his or her decision to consume or not. Our choice to offer alcohol is balanced by the necessity to always enjoy responsibly.
The Content of the Conversations:
The Social Network
Our purpose can be reduced to one word: Relationship. The beginning fifteen or twenty minutes of each session is casual to give the community a chance to catch-up, grab some food, and deepen our connection.
Once gathered we begin each conversation with a ten to fifteen minute opening reflection offered by a member of our community. This may take the form of prayer, storytelling, meditation, or the sharing of an article, poem, or prose. This brief opening sets a tone of thoughtful engagement.
The majority of our time together includes a half hour or forty-five minute conversation, using a text from one member’s tradition as a starting point for community dialogue. Examples texts have included both Hebrew and Christian scriptures, the Talmud, Luther’s Ninety Five Theses, the Koran, gathered thoughts on General Relativity, and Oprah’s O Magazine.