On November 7 six STM parishioners participated in a Braver Angels workshop to discuss the issue of climate change. Braver Angels was founded in the wake of the 2016 election as a forum to bring “Reds” (conservative) and “Blues” (liberal) together to discuss current issues and find common ground despite political differences. The Adult Faith Formation ministry at STM sponsored the workshop as a way to bring together parishioners with diverse political views to discuss a social justice issue and learn about each other’s perspectives on that issue. The three hour workshop included one-on-one as well as group discussions between “Reds” and “Blues” on the issue of climate change. It culminated in a joint review of both groups’ shared values, concerns and policy ideas. The goal was to give participants the opportunity to ask questions about the others’ beliefs and ideas, and to identify areas of agreement between the two groups. “Braver Angels is a great antidote for the division and polarization we have in the country these days”, said parishioner Robert Weaver. “We’ve forgotten how to disagree without being disagreeable, and forgotten that we have much more in common than we don’t. I’d recommend the program to anyone in the parish, and I hope STM puts on another workshop soon”. Parishioner Alex Brown reflected that he “was reminded how civil dialogue and meaningful discussion can help us achieve a better understanding not only of one another, but also of the important realities facing our world today. It helps us prepare for God’s kingdom on earth and work together for the common good in the face of all the important issues that challenge humanity.” For more information about Braver Angels, go to braverangels.org.

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