Cultivating gracious dialogue on Christ & culture

The Hill Country Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to renewing and equipping the Body of Christ to engage culture in changing times with the love and mind of Christ.
We’re breaking down barriers to fellowship and creating safe places for difficult conversations.

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Who is My Neighbor? How Can I Build a Friendship With Someone Who Has a Totally Different Worldview From Mine?

Hill County Institute is running a series of dinner parties called "Conversational Sundays".  The first one, "Looking Through Christ's Eyes" was held Sunday, March 30, at SWOOP House in Austin, Texas.  The second one was "How Should We Consider the Extraordinary People Around Us", the third was "Truth...Imagination...and Meaning", and the fourth one was "Restoring the Lost Art of Conversation".

Continuing our series of six "dinners with a purpose" based on John Burke's book, "Mud and the Masterpiece: Seeing Yourself and Others Through the Eyes of Jesus", our fifth dinner will be about building friendships with people who have different worldviews from your own.

As we think about how to actively and intentionally engage the people around us with the love and mind of Christ, certainly there are times when we find some people challenging to love. People who are very different from us.  People we don't understand.  People we disagree with.

As Eric Bryant points out in "Not Like Me", for far too long, the world has been made aware of what we as Christians hate rather than whom we love. People are far more aware of what Christians are against than of what we support.  Rather than coming across as judgemental, homogenous, isolated, conflict-filled, and irrelevant communities, we need to show the world what Christ truly intended us to be—reflections of Him.  The top two things we're commanded to do often are obeyed only if we like the person, agree with the person, feel comfortable around the person. But Jesus' commands didn't come with any exclusion clauses.

Come join us in an intimate setting around the picnic table to explore what it means to love as Jesus loved, to treat the people in our lives as the extraordinary masterpieces they are.  Our guest speaker will be Kirby Holmes from Gateway Church in Austin.

 

THE VENUE

Zhi Tea Gallery (4607 Bolm Road; Austin, TX) is a charming, cozy tea house built as a place where people can "Pause. Reflect. Connect." Serving only the highest grade, certified organic, fair trade tea, Zhi Tea artisans create specialty blends which are shipped to wholesale and retail customers in Austin and all over the nation. They have been written about in numerous publications, blogs and shows such as UT's "Taste of Austin" segment on Good Morning Texas!  Dinner will be a fun and imaginative menu accompanied by a selection of unique beverages crafted from organic, fair trade tea by Zhi Tea Gallery artisans

Click here for more info and to register.

See photos from past Conversational Sundays here.

 

Dates for the remaining Conversational Sundays:

August 17:  Seeing With New Eyes, Listening With New Ears; led by Walter Bradley, Hill Country Institute Fellow

Tickets on Sale Now for Conversational Sundays #4: Restoring the Lost Art of Conversation

Hill County Institute is running a series of dinner parties called "Conversational Sundays".  The first one, "Looking Through Christ's Eyes" was held Sunday, March 30, at SWOOP House in Austin, Texas.  The second one was "How Should We Consider the Extraordinary People Around Us", and the third was "Truth...Imagination...and Meaning".

Continuing our series of six "dinners with a purpose" based on John Burke's book, "Mud and the Masterpiece: Seeing Yourself and Others Through the Eyes of Jesus", our fourth dinner will be about restoring the lost art of conversation.

Much can be gained from understanding the purpose and tools of conversation. We use conversation to communicate our ideas and understand other people’s ideas. Whether leisure, business or any other interaction, the tools of communicating include how you use your voice, your face, and your body.

Come join us in an intimate setting around the picnic table to explore what it means to love as Jesus loved, to treat the people in our lives as the extraordinary masterpieces they are.  Our guest speaker will be Dr. Susan Quiring, owner and director of Class Act Etiquette, Dance & Social Skills and Susan’s Ballroom Dance.  Susan brings a unique mix of experience and education to the art of communicating.  She’ll give practical understanding and application of the tools necessary to achieve meaningful and valuable conversation.  Specific topics will include:  how to start a conversation, what makes a successful conversation, wow to make small talk, how to make yourself known and remembered, and how to make a good first impression.  You’ll leave with actual tools to start down a path of great and meaningful conversations.

 

THE VENUE

Zhi Tea Gallery (4607 Bolm Road; Austin, TX) is a charming, cozy tea house built as a place where people can "Pause. Reflect. Connect." Serving only the highest grade, certified organic, fair trade tea, Zhi Tea artisans create specialty blends which are shipped to wholesale and retail customers in Austin and all over the nation. They have been written about in numerous publications, blogs and shows such as UT's "Taste of Austin" segment on Good Morning Texas!  Dinner will be a fun and imaginative menu accompanied by a selection of unique beverages crafted from organic, fair trade tea by Zhi Tea Gallery artisans

 

THE SPEAKER

Through her businesses, Class Act Etiquette, Dance & Social Skills and Susan’s Ballroom Dance, Dr. Susan Quiring offers classes which equip both youth and adults with the understanding and skills to present themselves in a variety of settings. She offers customized workshops and seminars on etiquette & social skills through Texas A&M University, as well as for businesses, sororities, & churches. With over 20 years experience as a ballroom dance instructor, Susan offers ongoing classes and private instruction for teens, adults, and wedding couples. Susan earned her doctorate from Kansas State University. Her broad-based career includes an associate professorship at Texas A&M University, 12 years as a 4-H agent and Home Economist in Kansas, guest appearances on live TV & radio, and facilitation of study-abroad programs. Dr. Quiring’s customized workshops and seminars are both meaningful and memorable. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to have her as a guest speaker at our fourth Conversational Sunday!


Click here for more info and to register.

See photos from past Conversational Sundays here.

Dates for the remaining Conversational Sundays:

July 13:  Engaging the World Around Us - How? led by Kirby Holmes (Gateway Church, Austin)

August 17:  Seeing With New Eyes, Listening With New Ears; led by special guest speaker TBD

Next Conversational Sunday is June 8 at Zhi Tea Gallery

The next Conversational Sunday will be held June 8 at Zhi Tea Gallery. Building on the last three Sundays, we're carrying on our theme of "Seeing others through the eyes of Jesus", and the focus June 8 is "Restoring the Lost Art of Conversation".  You won't want to miss this one!  Save the date.  More details coming soon.  Tickets go on sale May 27

 

Check out the Photos from past Conversational Sundays 

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