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Immanuel UCC hosts BRAVE SPACE: Conversations Series to Stop Division & Build Community

Story Written by Bethany Kirkner

Immanuel UCC hosts BRAVE SPACE: Conversations Series to Stop Division & Build Community

SHILLINGTON, PENNSYLVANIA — Immanuel United Church of Christ will hold BRAVE SPACE: Conversations on its Shillington campus on 9/19, 9/26, 10/10, & 10/17 from 3-5:00 p.m. The interactive sessions are designed to pause judgements, challenge assumptions, check emotions, and reflect on labels to build better relationships of all types.

Open to all, BRAVE SPACE is a free program thanks to the Hawley & Myrtle Quier Fund of Berks County Community Foundation. Attendees are encouraged to attend 9/19 and at least one other session; but are welcome to attend just one. Program registration, directions, and more information are available at

Special guest Sharon Mast, highly sought-after professional facilitator and coach, will lead the sessions with her trademark energy, humor, and honesty. Through activities, storytelling, and community partners, attendees will have the opportunity to learn about themselves and get to know their “neighbor.” Mast, the founder of Spark Solutions, notes, “People spend 70-80% of their day in some from of communication and about 50% of that time is listening. Yet research tells us that our listening comprehension is less than 25%. Most of us hate feeling vulnerable yet without the ability to communicate effectively, we leave ourselves and others feeling angry, fearful, frustrated, and overwhelmed.”

“We want participants to realize that every issue has a face, labels have a face – all deserving of dignity. If we don’t learn to have conversations rather than trying to prove we are “right,” we can’t move past division,” said Reverend Megan Huesgen.

Founded in 1957, Immanuel is an Open and Affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ. The Immanuel community believes in practicing God’s extravagant welcome, a place where all are encouraged to question, to probe, to seek, to learn & grow. IUCC’s purpose is to follow Jesus so that relationships might become more authentic, love more inclusive, and service more purposeful. Members embrace a spectrum of belief, valuing tradition while daring to be uncertain & leaving room for our still-speaking God.