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San Diego, CA Hosts Listening and Learning Circles

Posted by Erin Bechtol
09.21.18

by LaVern Olberding  // Part of the Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions 

Our Listening and Learning Circles Pilot workshop on Sunday at St. Martin in La Mesa was a HUGE success.  Thirty five folks, ages 11 – 78, from 9 diverse faith traditions were all shocked at how much they learned about their (lack of) listening skills. Our panelists: a 12-year-old Sikh, a 16-year-old Baha’i and a 23 year-old Mormon were articulate and challenging with their remarks on the UN topics of dignity, justice and respect.  Evaluations request continuing the workshops and commit to recruiting new folks.

The photos below are of a few of the women participants in the Pax Christi Peace Circles at Sunset in Encinitas last night.  We had 25 multi-cultural participants who gathered at a beach home on the Pacific.  Live music, great listening circle sharings, some delectable munchies, a spectacular sunset  and after-dark fire ring were integral elements of a spirit-led evening.

Christy and Sean had a vibrant Campaign Nonviolence banner on the wall to the left of the Pax Christi sign! We started both events with a tribute to Campaign Nonviolence and how it has grown in size and impact during the past 5 years.

Anne Barron has been doing an excellent job of at least one event a day around San Diego with other co-sponsors.  Tonight was the No Miramar Air Show (NO MAS) bannering over Interstate 5.

Monday I attended a Restorative Justice rally with a diverse panel of people using RJ practices in High School, Detention, Law Enforcement and neighborhood projects.

 

I met Chris at a brunch for the homeless sponsored by Jesuit Volunteers in July.  He was so full of “the glory of God” that, on the spot, I invited him to be one of our 12 speakers at Interfaith Awareness Week.  (I call him “Chef Chris” because that is how his street brothers introduced him to me.)  When he spoke at the IAW event on August 12 as the voice of the street faith community he got a standing ovation.

I invited him to be a facilitator for our Week of Action kick-off workshop, Listening and Learning Circles last Sunday, 9/16.  The day before the workshop he texted me that he and his fiancee had created a new ministry on Mission Beach. (Coffee and sweets every Wed-Sat and a Thursday lunch BBQ from their monthly welfare checks!)  They were concerned that since there was “nothing offered to the brothers, sisters and children on the beach on Thursdays” they wanted to provide an evening meal rather than a lunch.  Chris was asking for contacts where he might get some assistance.

At the end of the workshop on Sunday I gave him the money we collected for donations and I made an announcement about his ministry needs. My LDS team partner, Clark Henderson, said he thought he could help.  Guess what? He is the man in the long sleeved white shirt and blue serving gloves in pictures 4 & 5.  He and his wife showed up at the BBQ.  Chris was so touched! (And so am I!)

 

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