I was blessed in 2018 to participate in events that make me hopeful for our future together. Every two weeks, four parishioners of divergent political persuasions have met for lunch and conversation. Starting far apart, we almost always discover unanticipated areas of agreement, with conversations ranging over politics, economics, religion and social issues. We’ll continue in 2019 and I’m confident you and your friends could do the same.

In April 2017 I invited parishioners to join in an hour of conversation one Sunday a month, convinced that people need an opportunity to talk in a safe environment about issues of concern to them in today’s turbulent world. Originally scheduled for three months, the conversations continue after 21. In October I participated in Arizona Town Hall’s Tucson forum on criminal justice, another instance of people from different backgrounds and viewpoints working to achieve consensus on issues of importance to their community.

Finally, the Star’s editorial team invited some frequent letter writers to participate in small group conversations in which people whose views were known to differ grappled with issues presented by the organizers. More events like this will follow in 2019.

My hope: conversations like those I’ve described will lead to diminished divisiveness, increased ability to bring our communities together to resolve issues common to us as Tucsonans, Arizonans, Americans and fellow members of one human race.

Frank Bergen

Northeast side

Disclaimer: As submitted to the Arizona Daily Star.

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