Open Invitation to Our Congregation and Our Community

Open Invitation to Our Congregation and Our Community

Hello, fellow Hyde Park members and all of our local community members.

 

My name is Michelle Schumacher, and I am one of the co-facilitators of The Civil Conversations Project at The Portico Tampa. Please consider this an open invitation to join us at our conversation this Thursday, Oct. 5, 6:30 p.m. at The Portico Cafe.

 

Our CCP group offers a monthly opportunity to engage in meaningful conversation with others—sometimes with markedly different perspectives and life experiences—on topics and issues that impact our lives.

 

Our conversations are open to anyone who wishes to participate, walk-ins welcome. The project is inspired by the Civil Conversations Project (www.civilconversationsproject.org) launched by the NPR radio program and podcast On Being. Each month’s discussion focuses on one podcast interview from the project.

 

We CCP’ers do not seek to change anyone’s values or beliefs. Rather, we seek to broaden each of our perspectives by discussing topics that are emotionally charged with dignity, grace, and mutual respect. Building on what Pastor Candace Lewis said this past Sunday, we seek to move away from the black and white perspectives each of us might have regarding any given issue and to instead find the colors in between black and white that emerge when we intentionally sit in communion together at the conversation table to hear and learn from one another.

 

What does a CCP conversation look like? Listening respectfully, even when we disagree. Keeping our voices at conversational tones rather than raised levels. Talking one at a time rather than over each other. Speaking from and honoring each of our own experiences, rather than telling anyone that their experiences are wrong…or that they, themselves, are wrong.

 

Although he’s never been to one of our meetings, I think UMC Bishop Ken Carter captured our intent well in his statement two Sundays ago when he said, “Conversation is the currency of change. When we speak with someone, when we listen to them, when they listen to us, we often find that our perspectives change.”

 

That doesn’t mean we believe or vote differently. It might mean, though, that we start to learn to yell a little less, to listen and to empathize a little more, and maybe even to find our way forward in compromise by focusing on the points we do agree on.

 

For example, this Thurs., Oct. 5, our podcast topic of https://onbeing.org/programs/jim-daly-gabe-lyons-the-next-christians/ includes examples of folks from different backgrounds and beliefs who become willing to listen to each other and, from there, to move forward together by focusing on what they agree on. Coincidentally, this month’s podcast specifically speaks to the question posed by Magrey in his Midweek Message last week of “How do we achieve full inclusion of LGBTQ persons in the church, while still honoring our covenantal bonds with each other?”

 

So please consider this an open invitation to join us 6:30-8 p.m. this Thursday, Oct. 5. For those who might not yet have had dinner, or who could use a caffeine pick-me-up, the Portico Cafe will be open until 7 p.m.

 

Thanks very much for your time and consideration, and we look forward to seeing you Thursday evening.

 

Gratefully,

Michelle Schumacher

813.363.3970

Civil Conversations Project Continues Aug. 2

Civil Conversations Project Continues Aug. 2

We expected last night’s attendance at The Civil Conversations Project to be one of our smaller meetings due to the July 4th holiday.

It was one of our largest groups of attendees to date.

We expected to be able to hear the pre-selected “On Being” podcast segments meant to guide our discussion.

Multiple technological issues resulted in our instead building our discussion far more around each attendee’s philosophies and experiences.

We expected that, following The Portico Café’s 7 p.m. closing time, our discussion would take place in an environment of peace and quiet.

A fierce thunderstorm and The Portico’s (10-minute false) fire alarm meant altering our expectations yet again.

We persevered. Quiet was restored. The conversation carried on. And the voices of both new and regular attendees were heard.

While we all agreed on a major overarching point or two regarding “The Evolution of the Science – Religion Debate,” we each had different perspectives and experiences to offer with regard to our individual beliefs. This included sharing on and noting the impact each of our own upbringings, work, and life experiences has had on how we think today.

We listened to, heard, and learned from each other with dignity, grace, and mutual respect.

It was a wholly imperfect, yet perfectly made, evening.

The Civil Conversations Project continues 6:30 – 8 p.m Wednesday, Aug. 2. in The Portico Cafe meeting room. The podcast we will be discussing can be accessed here. All are welcome to join us with or without listening in advance.

For more information, please contact Michelle Schumacher (813.363.3970).

Porch Party Potluck at The Portico campus – 6:30 p.m. June 25

Porch Party Potluck at The Portico campus – 6:30 p.m. June 25

Join us at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, June 25 for our monthly Porch Party potluck. This event is a relaxed gathering of community friends, guests and neighbors.

Let’s celebrate a nostalgic references to American culture and designs inspired by patriotic hues and cuisine as American as apple pie. Prepare an All-American dish that you love and share in this celebration of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Our Porch Parties are community potlucks. A starter selection of beverages and main dishes will be provided to get things going.

Bring a friend, bring a dish (homemade or store-bought) , bring an appetite for good food and conversation.

Volunteer opportunities available. Call 813.254.5139 for more info.

All are welcome. All are loved.

“Being Mortal” Documentary and Discussion

“Being Mortal” Documentary and Discussion

What happens when we die?
What does it mean to embrace eternal life, in the face of our own mortality?

10 a.m. Friday June 23 at The Portico, we will join Tampa General Hospital to explore the answers to these questions through the film “Being Mortal.”  After the film, there will be a panel discussion with experts on death and dying from our community.

RSVP via phone (813.844.5929) or email.

Continuous bus service from the Hyde Park campus to The Portico will be provided by Tampa General Hospital.

Learn more.

The Portico Campus

The Portico Campus

The Portico Campus

Extending Hyde Park United Methodist’s mission and vision into the urban core of Tampa, The Portico campus offers Downtown Tampa Conversation, Connection and Community Change. The Portico campus, located at 1001 N. Florida Ave holds worship 5:30 p.m. each Sunday.

Porch Party at The Portico Campus This Sunday, May 21

Porch Party at The Portico Campus This Sunday, May 21

Join us at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, May 21 for our monthly Porch Party potluck. This event is a relaxed gathering of community friends, guests and neighbors.

Please bring a dish, side or dessert.

Let’s celebrate our various cultures with a festive international foods theme. Prepare an international dish that you love and share in this Love Feast.

Our Porch Parties are community potlucks. A starter selection of beverages and a main dish will be provided to get things going. Bring your own dish, homemade or store-bought.

Bring a friend, bring a dish, bring an appetite for good food and conversation.

Volunteer opportunities available. Call 813.254.5139 for more info.

All are welcome. All are loved.

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