Guidelines for Dialoguing Side-by-Side

Q Christian Fellowship is committed to teaching and living into radical belonging in God’s family. Like Jesus, who welcomed people from all walks of life--the Syrophonecian woman, the Ethiopian eunuch, Nicodemus the scribe, Paul the Pharisee--we practice hospitality with people across the spectrum of identities and beliefs. We want to foster connecting with one another beyond our disagreements by centering ourselves on what centered Jesus: love of God and love of neighbor.

As the board went into discernment about the name change of the organization, they were lead to the image of an estuary as an example of a place which teems with life despite the unlikely mixture of salt-water and fresh-water. We believe that protecting difference, protecting your right to believe as you do, to follow Jesus as you are doing, is integral to us becoming a healthy Q Christian community.

We also know that this is hard, that it requires trust and bravery to share our true selves, to give one another the benefit of doubt, to invite connection even in our differences.

In our discussion you will hear voices representing different theological perspectives, different interpretations of the Bible, different beliefs about what God requires of God’s children. Each of you is welcome here. Again: Each of you is welcome here. Each one of you belongs here, in this room, here with us in this community, here in God’s family.

In order for us to become a healthier family, we ask that each person present their perspective with respect for those who hold different convictions; that we speak from a heart of love: love for God, love for neighbor; and, if those feel impossible, we ask that you speak with love for your enemy because Jesus calls us to this kind of radical love.

We know that many conversations we hold here can, at times, be triggering to any one of us, because we are each at different points in our journey.

If you find the conversation painful, we would encourage you to carefully consider whether you can share how and why the conversation is difficult for you in a way that respects others in the room. If it is too difficult for you to participate in this manner, you may decide that the best way for you to love yourself is to excuse yourself based on where you are in your journey.  Practice healthy boundary setting.

But we hope you can stay engaged because, we want to hear from you, because you belong here.  We welcome you here.