This is part three of a four-part series by Dr. Robert Schmidt. The word “faith” often brings to mind unnecessary divisions and conflicts. But what if faith is defined as belief in the fulfillment of common human hopes? Combining the insights of world religions and secular humanism, this series envisions a new world society and suggests how such a society might be achieved. Schmidt has taught International Relations, Theology, and World Religions at Concordia University in Portland and has lectured all over the world.
The HGP Earlybird Discussion Group
The Early Bird discussion group meets every Sunday in the Garden Room of Friendly House before the main program.
A few years ago HGP member Don Baham noticed that a few HGP members arrived early for the regular 10PM Sunday morning programs and were simply hanging out in the Friendly House lobby – some chatting, others simply waiting. Don decided that conditions were ripe for starting what turned out to be the present-day successful Earlybird Discussion Group.
Goal of the Group
The goal of the group is to provide a friendly, somewhat intimate atmosphere for interested persons to start their HGP Sunday morning activities; and for non-HGP attendees to get an idea what HGP members are like.
Functioning of the Group
In the allotted 1-hour time for the gathering, the goal of the group is to provide a relaxed atmosphere for discussion of most anything on attendee’s minds, with the leader/facilitator being democratically selected by the attendees at each meeting. After the leader/facilitator is chosen he/she lists topics nominated for discussion, democratically determines which topic(s) will be discussed, and starts the discussion.
To date, the average six to ten Group attendees, from the far reaches of the Portland Metro Area to the Portland proper area, report really enjoying the Earlybird Discussion Group experience. First-time attendees report similar experiences.
New attendees are welcome!