Here’s the scene: You’re at a party. There are more people present who you don’t know than you do. Perhaps it’s your partner’s work party and there is the obligation to get to know some of the strangers present. As you look around the room, what assumptions are you making by the people you see? What assumptions are they making about you?
At The Church Lab dialogue on Monday, December 12, nine interfaithers met to share our perspectives on “Misconceptions.” What are the misconceptions you face the most by those of another tradition? What are the misconceptions you’ve made about your own tradition?
Before we dive in further, the entire conversation is available to listen online here:
We invite you to listen to this dialogue session and think of it as a launch pad to get you thinking and engaging in the topic of misconception, too.
There’s something to the fact, that regardless of faith tradition, everyone at the dialogue had a personal experience of being misconceived based on their faith identity. And often less realized, everyone shared in the ways that we’ve made misconceptions about our own faith traditions. It is a complicated and messy exploration of identity and how we desire to be known as individuals, while also aligning ourselves with larger collectives of people.
Some questions I’m left with…
How do we perpetuate or reinforce the misconceptions made about our faith traditions? Have you ever assured someone you didn’t fit the mold of your faith tradition, that you weren’t “that kind of fill-in-the-blank?” Who fits a mold?
Are we actively seeking to teach ourselves about other traditions in order to end misconceptions we have about others?
Can we navigate the sources of the misconceptions we have learned?
Sharing about our experience with misconceptions really encompasses the mission of The Church Lab, which is to replace the misconceptions we have of people and replace them with real relationships. The Church Lab initiates these relationships by hosting folks in a room together, but that is just the beginning of the process. Developing relationships is a long game, made-up of creative encounters. So, here’s to that next party, when you’re surrounded by strangers. May at least one stranger become a misconception-smashing partner on your journey to better know and care for the world.