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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Voices


We’ve just come from our 2011 Mission conference. It was wonderful to hear so many voices sharing the stories of what they’re doing and how they’re working on the Goals and Initiatives that we, corporately, have espoused. (We did do that you know, when we raised our hands to sustain people and approve budgets!)

Do you all remember when the President and the Bishop were the only people to talk at these events? (Occasionally someone who’d been instructed to say “I so move” when given the nod from the chair?) Most of the voices actually heard were part of the cacophony in the breaks, the aisles and the lunch room. Oh those “chatter day saints” are still there; after all, it’s in the DNA!

There is still more room for voices to be heard. As one of the introverts in the crowd, let me offer a bit of advice to us all. (Here's a reminder, if you need to refer to it.) It took me years to gather courage to speak up in such a gathering. You’ll notice that I’m still not likely to be the first up, or to say very much more than I feel is absolutely necessary. I look around and see many of you I understand very well as fellow-introverts. I know it takes you time to reflect on the information, to listen to the comments being made, to consider what you might want to read or research before you really know what you could say. It’s highly unlikely that we’ll still be talking about the same issue, and by then the vote has been taken and we’re on to the next item of business.

Now, here’s my advice. Do not neglect to do that research and reflecting. Your perspective can still be heard. The benefit of your reflection must be part of the input to our decisions. Folks often report they are faithful blog readers, but have never left a comment. The Blog is the perfect place for introverts! Here you can take the time you need to reflect, to preview your comment, adjust and edit until it says exactly what you mean before you hit Publish. Please do that! We need the benefit of your thoughtful reflection and that is a good way to put it out there.

To those who organize dialogue sessions and business meetings: please make some spaces for the thoughtful, reflective introverted voices to be heard. Invite some of them to prepare thoughts in advance and to share from a script or a slide presentation they’ve had time to make it say exactly what they want to say. Make spaces in your agenda for getting those other ideas out—not just the ideas of people who love to talk.

We have several months before our National Conference. Be sure that your voice is part of that experience. Find out how the dialogue will be happening in your congregation and ensure all our voices get into the mix. It is NOT a one-time event for bold extroverts. It’s a long, slow reflection for sharing in groups big and small. It’s important that your voice be heard.

Posted by Marion

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