Spirit Alive: Sometimes Walking the Talk Means...


Spirit Alive is a twice a month blog that looks at different aspects of mission and ministry throughout the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference and beyond.

April 24, 2018

With Heart, Soul, and Mind:

Talking Kindly...but also Listening with Compassion

Are you open to being curious? Are you able to be kind? Are you wiling to listen?

In the coming weeks, approximately thirty Table Talks will be offered throughout the Greater Northwest Area and nearly 600 people have already registered to attend one of these gatherings. The Table Talks are designed to create an opportunity to gather around Christ's table to listen, talk, share our experiences with one another...and in the process deepen our sense of community as Christians. Those who attend will share Holy Communion as well as a part of these events.

Sometimes we share space with others, without sharing our hearts and minds in community-building ways. Sometimes we avoid the tough subjects altogether, but somehow think we understand one another. Sometimes we miss the opportunity to deepen our relationships and gain new insights, because we don't take the time needed to sit down with those who have different life experiences and perspectives from us...and as a result, we fail to understand others fully.

The Table Talk experience is designed to help us break through some of these barriers and come out the other side with greater understanding and a willingness to become the church in a more profound and loving way. I hope you will decide to join a Table Talk in your area. In order to register, simply click here. I think you'll find it to be a powerful experience.

Gathering in these ways is at the heart of our Methodist tradition. Years ago, John Wesley created class meetings as a way for Early Methodists to gather regularly in small groups in order to share their life experiences and journeys of faith with one another.

These were not always easy conversations for people to have with each other. In fact, some of the questions were downright difficult to discuss with others. Click here to see the kinds of questions John Wesley's Holy Clubs asked themselves over 200 years ago. It is clear that Wesley understood something that today we are still learning. It has to do with Christian conversation and holy conferencing: when you covenant with others to stay curious, be kind, and are open and willing to listen, amazing things can happen... and through the process the Spirit of God is often present!

We may not always feel like we are "united," but we Methodists. And...if we are able to re-claim the spirit and conversational nature of our historical roots, we may discover that there is more that we share in common than we originally thought. I hope you'll be a part of a Table Talk in your area...and begin the conversation with others.

Let us walk in the light of God's love,


Spirit Alive is a twice a month blog and email by Rev. Lowell Greathouse, Mission and Ministry Coordinator for the Oregon-Idaho Conference. It seeks to identify where the spirit is alive in our congregations and communities. Check out past editions, or subscribe to the email list.



Lowell Greathouse
Lowell Greathouse is the Mission and Ministry Coordinator for the Oregon-Idaho Conference of the United Methodist Church. He looks for places to find where the spirit is alive and help them grow in vitality and fruitfulness. Share with him at lowell@umoi.org