Discuss & Listen – Formal Meetings
Starting in August 2023, we began meeting on the 2nd Friday of each month from 4:00-5:30pm, at the Sun City Villas Clubhouse, 26100 Birkdale Rd., Sun City, CA 92586.
Google Maps will NOT take you directly to the Clubhouse. Please follow these instructions to arrive there without frustration!
Here are DRIVING INSTRUCTIONS TO LOCATE THE CLUBHOUSE IN SUN CITY VILLAS on Sept. 8 — since, unfortunately, putting the above address into Google Maps will get you into Sun City Villas, but NOT all the way to the clubhouse itself:
Sun City Villas is a very small HOA. There are three entrances into Sun City Villas. You’re looking for a SMALL PARKING LOT. That’s for the clubhouse.
- If you enter from Grosse Point Drive, turn into Birkdale Road (there is no Sun City Villas sign there). After 50 yards or so the city road turns into a private road. Stay on it (go straight). You’ll soon see a small parking lot (for 15+ cars) on your RIGHT; park there. That’s the clubhouse.
- If you enter from Cherry Hills Blvd., see the small white Sun City Villas sign and turn into Birkdale Road. Pass two small streets on your left; keep going until you can make a RIGHT turn. You’ll see a small parking lot (for 15+ cars) on your LEFT; park there. That’s the clubhouse.
- If you enter from Murrieta Road, see the small white Sun City Villas sign and turn into Birkdale Road. Follow it around until you can make a LEFT turn, and then go straight until you see a small parking (for 15+ cars) on your LEFT; park there. That’s the clubhouse.
There is never a hidden agenda at our meetings. Everyone is welcome who is genuinely interested in understanding why people believe political ideas that are different from their own.
For over a year our regular monthly meetings had a set format: a 5-minute topic presentation, followed by 55 minutes of discussion either in pairs, threes, or fours. Since then we’ve moved to a full-group discussion format centered on one or two articles on some specific topic.
At the beginning of our meetings there is usually time for participants to share a snack and chat informally, to get to know each other a bit. The core leaders then present the article up for discussion, and then members begin discussing a political issue and really listen to others as they speak.
One of our primary goals is for our members to practice speaking to their listeners about political issues in ways that are honest, yet respectful and polite. We suggest that, instead of citing statistics and facts as they see them, or quoting the commentators on MSNBC, FOX, or CNN, they should speak from their own personal experiences, or those of their family or close friends.
We encourage members to picture the other attendees in the room as beloved elder relatives or close childhood friends — folks that they would never want to upset or offend. Likewise, we urge everyone present to show that they are sincerely listening. After all, when you’re listening to someone share a traumatic personal event that is an underlying reason for their political opinions, it isn’t that hard to listen with a more open mind — in fact, it becomes pretty hard to mock, dismiss, or hate them.
Our first meetings were online through Zoom in the fall of 2021. We sent links to folks for whom we had email addresses, and we depended heavily on slideshows to present information. Folks who attended were able to participate and discuss, and we are grateful that we were able to utilize this digital format.
Purely Social Events!
Although we have not had any social events in 2023 so far, we had quite a few in 2021-2022, to provide opportunities for our members to hang out together, relax, get to know each other better, and have some laughs! Our last event was a Holiday Potato Bar Party on Saturday, December 10, 2022, at the beautiful home of Lee and Donna Ervin, the fabulous co-chairs of our Social Committee.
The Ervins transformed their home for eight days in October 2022 into a fantastical Haunted Walkthrough open to all, with a kick-off party on October 8th.
At least 25 kind, interesting neighbors from all over Menifee and beyond came to the Pasta Bar Social at the Ervins’ on September 17, 2022. Even more folks came to the Taco Bar Social on July 30, 2022, and stayed for hours. What an incredibly comfortable yet intriguing setting, from the candles in every nook and cranny, to the arcade machines, to the plentiful seating inside and out! Every guest, from age 19 to 82, felt immediately at home and welcome. The compliments just keep coming in on the friendly, peaceful, enjoyable atmosphere that surrounded everyone that evening. Sure, politics came up here and there, as we all got to know one another — but with genuine curiosity and mutual respect.
Our first social was November 6, 2021, at Spirit Park on Newport Road — our first in-person event of any kind, since the lockdown was still going on. It was so great to share an afternoon with folks we’d only met online before.