Good conversation about meaningful things leads to healthy relationships and healthy relationships can change the world. I didn’t want to lead this post with too bold of a statement. How did I do? All sarcasm aside, I genuinely believe in that statement. I believe that healthy, authentic, transformative, life-giving relationships can change families, neighborhoods, communities, cities and ultimately the world. How much different would our election season be if those types of relationships were a pillar of campaigns and debates? How different would American families look if we took relationships more seriously as a nation?
As someone who believes healthy relationships can change the world, I look at society and can easily become overwhelmed with the chaotic mess that’s looking back at me. I don’t have to have my Facebook account up long to see that mess on display. But I wanted to respond in some way. I knew it wouldn’t be a big way. But I needed to start somewhere.
In San Antonio, through Texas Baptists’ partnership with Matryoshka Haus, we just wrapped up our second series of Good Brunches this spring following a series completed last fall. These brunches are an attempt to lead out in helping people have beneficial and healthy conversation in hopes that good relationships and good action are the fruit. Relationships begin with conversation; and powerful, widespread action begins with relationships.
These conversations are a series of independent discussions on values like hope, justice and restoration feeding into the second series of conversations that apply those values to real world problems like tolerance, othering, food security and education. It would be too easy for people of the same faith, same socioeconomic background, same race, same gender, etc. to come together and talk about making a difference in these areas. But the design and goal of these brunches is to bring together an eclectic group from a community and re-learn the art of communicating.
We witnessed Christians having their first meaningful conversation with people of other faiths. We had people attending with no community asking if this can be where they find a “home.” We had teenagers talking about where they find hope in a world that seems so hopeless. Tables in two local San Antonio restaurants were filled with chatter between people who thought, processed and believed differently, yet who were sharing life with each other and genuine listening to one another
After a successful series in San Antonio, Good Brunches are set to start in Abilene this fall and on the campuses of UT Rio Grande Valley and UT San Antonio next semester. It should be an exciting year.
If you are interested in learning more about Good Brunches, contact Elizabeth Biedrzycki at Elizabeth.Biedrzycki@texasbaptists.org.