Synod Listening Session #2

Challenges of a University

The Agreements

Agreements foster an environment where free and profound exchange is possible. Respect for a diversity of views, sharing in the responsibility for the well-being of all members, and guiding the directions of the group are assisted when everyone holds to the agreements. The agreements for our Synod Sessions are:

  • We respect and honor each other’s stories, perspectives and experiences. 
  • We listen with attention and speak with intention - we open our hearts to listen with compassion and curiosity, seeking to understand. Only the one holding the talking piece may speak, while others listen.
  • We hold each other’s stories as sacred and confidential.
  • We speak only for ourselves - we bring our personal experiences to the circle, no one else’s. 
  • We are invited to speak freely, with confidence and “parrhesia,” knowing that we will not be interrupted or silenced.
  • We bring our entire selves to the process- our thoughts, opinions and experiences are all important.
  • We welcome silence; we can hold silence together and allow space for new things to emerge.
  • We do not debate or respond directly to others in the circle. If/when we are impacted or challenged by something someone says, we may acknowledge it by saying phrases like: “What you said made me think,” “Thank you for sharing,” “I never thought of it that way,” etc. 
  • We listen to the facilitator and the scribe who tend to the group’s needs, and agree to pause when needed.

Opening Questions

1. How can the University better foster a sense of communion, participation, and mission?

2. How have you contributed to the community and mission of the University?

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