Reading & Discussion (January 2023)

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JANUARY 2023

4th Sundays, 10:05 a.m. (in-person, Fellowship Room)

At the end of the November Reading and Discussion program on Polarization, we began to talk about the existence of polarization in our meeting. It became clear that what we had been talking about as polarization was, in fact, a form of conflict. The group suggested that they would like to learn more about conflict before talking about its existence in the meeting.

In preparation for such a discussion, the reading consists of a brief essay describing one view of the elements in and origin of, conflict in life. It stresses the role of our inner life in creating and sustaining conflict. It also draws attention to the Quaker value of truth and its possible role in creating and sustaining conflict.

Three additional readings are also offered. One are some thoughts about the Quaker view of truth from the Reno meeting. A second contains an extract from the Britain Yearly Meeting, Faith and Practice book about ways to address conflict. Finally, there are several extracts from the Amanda Ripley book, High Conflict. They provide some details about how we feed conflict in our world and what we might be able to do to reduce its impact on us and our organizations.

The goal of the discussion is not to hash through any particular conflict in the meeting but expand our understanding of the forces within us that contribute to the creation of conflict in any situation and the ways in which our Quaker faith might help us learn to deal with it more productively. Or, better yet, make it less likely to happen or become debilitating to the Meeting.

PDF of the letter from Al Palmer and Kate Kelley and the readings for January are at: https://annarborfriends.org/wp/misc/rd/2023-01-22-RD.pdf


Please see the Meeting’s Reading and Discussion page for more information about the context, practice, and goals of ‘Reading and Discussion’.

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