Parish meetings get bogged down this past year? Consider inviting Saint Ignatius to the deliberations. Considering the day, perhaps a note on freedom, since we Americans are somewhat mindful of that on the 4th:
Central to this method is the isolation of pros from cons, and the uninhibited expression of arguments, both pro and con, by each participant. Each is expected to disclose how he or she thinks (judges) the situation to be. An inclination “pro” will not hold up if it rests on inaccurate data. Is it true or false? is a question of intelligence or understanding.
Clearly our national political climate is insufficient. Sadly. I might also suggest that national attitudes work against freedom, this freedom to disclose. Is there a freedom to express differences? And I don’t mean among one’s cohort, or online. Most often these “discussions” are about who can yell the loudest and lob the most bombs.
Turning to the local scene, consider the importance of giving all people a voice in a group discernment. I think it’s the Benedictine tradition that monks will speak from the youngest to the oldest (and abbot) and thus the whole range of experience is given.