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Connecting Point is offering a new series of classes that create an opportunity to discuss current and challenging topics within a structure of trust.

“Living Room Conversations” is model of communicating developed by dialogue experts that facilitates building connection between people despite their differences.

Wendy Van Wagner

In these guided conversations, each participant is given time to share authentically about a particular topic, while listeners respectfully suspend judgement. The conversations build understanding and connection between people across divides of politics, age, race, and more.

“The point is to listen to other people’s perspective, and not feel like you must react or defend your own point of view,” shares instructor Wendy Van Wagner. “It helps keep us in a state of curiosity and open to learning from others. It also shows what we actually have in common.”

Van Wagner became interested in leading the classes after noting the impact of polarization over the past few years. “The skill of listening seems lost, and this framework allows us to reenter conversations without the fear of being ‘cancelled’ or causing damage to a relationship.”

The Living Room Conversations in this series cover the topics of forgiveness, media and polarization, and communicating with care:

  • Forgiveness – Forgive the Unforgivable. Why? How? Must we? Forgiving wrongs, big or small, is not easy. In this guided discussion, we learn how forgiveness helps us manage the hurts and disappointments in our lives. This will be offered via Zoom on Tuesday, February 15 | 1-3pm
  • Media and Polarization – Today we can shop for the “facts” that suit our personal viewpoints and limit our exposure to news that we don’t like. In this conversation, we explore the effects that following specialized media sources can have on relationships. This will be offered via Zoom on Tuesday, April 12 | 1-3pm
  • Communicating with Care – Some of us might be unaware of words and actions that inhibit healthy dialogue when discussing divisive issues. In this conversation, we will share and explore what communication strategies work and what do not. This will be offered via Zoom on Tuesday, June 7 | 1-3pm

Connecting Point classes are free and may be attended individually or as a series. Pre-registration is required at connectingpoint.org/classes or call 530-274-5601.