We chose to start our seminar series with an introduction because we need a framework for what we are attempting to do as a community. Week 1 will be what supports and give structure for our efforts to enter into places most do not. Whether we readily identify with them or not, the topics of the Sixty Minute Seminar series occupy territory in the cultural landscape of our community. Often that territory is filled with fear, hurt, and rejection. We’ve all been hurt and have hurt others in our approach to some of life’s heartaches. Personally, it’s scary to talk about sexual orientation in today’s climate of prejudice and mistrust, no matter what your perspective is on the topic.
In truth, we are addressing some sensitive topics. As such, each topic comes with a set of weighty assumptions. For example, most of us, myself included, already have a pre-loaded mental map of what it means to engage with anxiety and depression. Some of that topography has been shaped by personal experience; other from people I love dearly who wrestle with the “issue.” The reality facing us all, regardless of the issue, is that we are all struggling to find language to have conversations that lead to real connection in these areas.
Our Sixty Minute Seminar series will kick off April 7th at Herndon with noted author, professor, speaker, and therapist Sharon Hersh. She will offer us a “Rosetta Stone” of sorts to set up our “language lessons” for the following weeks in our series. Our aim in acquiring language within these categories is to be able to enter into conversations that lead to real connection, and ultimately to communion—in every sense of the word.
This will be a week you won’t want to miss!
On the surface, it may seem obvious that we would start a series of mini-seminars with an “introduction” week. On the other hand, it might be fair to ask: “Why one whole session just to get started? The other topics on the menu seem self-explanatory.” The answer to why goes back to the vision we have for Sixty Minute Seminars. Read all about it and find a schedule of upcoming topics and speakers here.
Written by guest blogger Jack West.