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).

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