Speaking and Listening Together

A Wednesday Evening Series of Panel Discussions with Grace Elders

Join us for these discussions, moderated by Ryan Mayo, Director of Christian Education.  
All sessions will be held in person in the sanctuary, or via Zoom. 

Please note that these discussions will not be available as recordings after the event ends.

Feb. 3, 2021

Getting Our Bearings: What This Moment Feels Like

Paying special attention to the unique isolation, anxiety, and polarization we are all experiencing at some level, this panel will introduce the goals for the series and begin to humanize our cultural moment. Our response as human beings (and not merely thinking minds) to events around us is, at its root, something we experience as self-aware creatures made in the image of God - with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength.

Introduction: Bill

Panelists: Scott, Warran, & Mike

Feb. 17, 2021

Speaking to Each Other: The Ethics of Christian Engagement

Speaking, listening, and especially disagreeing with others well are learned skills guided by Biblical principles and ethics. We hope to lay the ethical foundations and the good practices, habits, and norms of healthy disagreement and dialogue. And we will begin to sketch out the scope of “essentials” and areas of Christian liberty of conscience.   

Introduction: Caleb

Panelists: Larry B., Chad, and Ryan R. 

March 17, 2021

Tough Questions: Being the Church during a Pandemic

No one planned for this. No one knew exactly how to respond. With this panel, we want to give you a glimpse inside Grace EPC’s COVID-19 “war room” and help you understand how our decision-makers truly grappled with the life and death ramifications of the pandemic and the immensely difficult decisions that were made with, at best, partial, incomplete, and uncertain information. And yet God was there the whole time, and our faith increased.

Introduction: Todd

Panelists: Darby, Phil, and Clay

April 7, 2021

Tougher Questions: Being the Church in a Polarized Culture

Cries of injustice, corruption, and wrongdoing from every side.  Protests and riots. Bloodshed, disillusionment, collapsing trust, rising anger, and competing “truths.” It may sometimes feel like everything is coming apart at the seams. We know seventy-five minutes is woefully inadequate to scratch the surface of these topics. Our more modest hope with this panel is simply to model the beginning of a discussion on what it means to be the church in such an uncertain and polarized age. Hint: We know and agree that God is good and He is sovereign. We know Jesus is LORD.

Introduction: Ryan R.

Panelists: Kim, Jason, and Mike

April 21, 2021

The Toughest Questions: An Open Mic Live Q&A with the Congregation

No event billed as “Speaking & Listening” would be complete without your participation. We want to hear from you over the course of this series via email and one-on-one conversations. But also, and especially, we hope you’ll bring your questions during this final evening. Live questions can be a challenge, but we do not intend to filter this conversation. We trust you will be both kind and courageous. And we will strive to be the same. Let’s talk and listen together.

Introduction: Chad

Panelists: Caleb, Bill, and Scott

If you would like link to the Zoom meeting, contact Ryan Mayo.

Although we have reserved one evening for live questions, please submit any questions, concerns, or encouragements you have to us at elders@gepc.org. We may respond directly or may incorporate your questions into our planning.

While all panelists will be participating as elders of Grace EPC, we recognize that on many of these topics, there is not complete agreement within the session. Please keep in mind that elders are sharing their own perspective, and are not speaking on behalf of the session as a whole.