Conference teaches humility

Twenty speakers discussed the topic of love and humility in politics.

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Eliana Park/ THE CHIMES

Eliana Park/ THE CHIMES

Eliana Park/ THE CHIMES

Rebecca Mitchell, Writer

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Amidst the chaos of the world, including hate on social media, divisions in society and the current state of American politics, community members, faculty and students met to discuss how to respond in love and humility.

Beyond Politics

The Center for Christian Thought hosted the Table Conference for the third year in a row, with the theme of Love and Humility in Politics for this year. Held in Calvary Chapel on Sept. 16-17, the conference dove into broad topics, such as reconciliation and hearing God’s voice, to provide attendees with tools to apply beyond politics.

Evan Rosa, assistant director of the CCT, discussed how people have not listened or are unwilling to alter their political positions, and how love and humility can change these stances.

“We’re not willing to back down from our position. What if we injected intellectual humility or religious, spiritual humility into this conversation? How would that change political conversations?” Rosa said. “Hopefully for the better, because it would increase listening, it would increase communication, it would make dialogue constructive instead of destructive, it would mean we might be able to work across differences.”

Many Different Viewpoints

While at the conference, attendees listened to speakers from a variety of backgrounds and with many different viewpoints, which allowed attendees to listen well. Each of the main sessions included several speakers who spoke and often included a question and answer time lead by Rosa, with his and audience members’ questions. The sessions also included liturgy, form guided prayer and worship songs, lead by The Brilliance.

In the first main session, Laura Turner, a freelance journalist for Christianity Today, spoke on “Humility in Social Media” and how the standards of real life and online are not distinct. Bryndley Stephenson, freshman communication studies major, enjoyed Turner’s discussion on how to treat people online.

“I think the part when Laura spoke about remembering that there’s a person on the other side of the screen, how easy it is to just put that up and not think about the other person but to really be intentional with that, I think was really neat,” Stephenson said.

After taking the big picture ideas from the six main sessions, attendees could go to three breakout sessions to engage in a more personal way on the subject and with the speakers.

“I think what I liked the most was the workshops and… one on one, asking questions directly and getting to hear other people’s questions,” said Jennifer Marziano, freshman elementary education major.

Love and Humility

One of the nuanced topics discussed within the larger picture of love and humility came from Carolyn McKinstry and Terrence Roberts, both living and significant figures in events of the Civil Rights movement.

McKinstry spoke on “Reconciliation: The Way to Love and Humility in Politics” as a survivor of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in 1963. McKinstry offered a unique perspective on Biblical reconciliation. In Little Rock, Ark., Roberts went to break barriers of segregation as one of the Little Rock Nine. Roberts spoke about “More of Thee and Less of Me: A Loving Approach to Life” on the importance of people’s roles in society.

“We have icons of the Civil Rights movement who are getting into their elderly years. There will not be many chances to hear from these people again in the same room at the same time,” Rosa said. “Your generation may be one of the last generations to hear from these people… it’s a privilege but it’s a responsibility to not only remember but… to take up a torch or a baton and move forward with that vision.”

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