First Congregational Church
164 Deer Hill Ave.
Danbury, CT 06810
Phone:(203) 744-6177

How to Have Difficult Discussions That Are Respectful

Community activist Kate Conetta will offer insights and pointers.

Kate Conetta(Posted October 18)

The First Congregational Church of Danbury will present a Real Theology Sunday during our 10 a.m. service on October 23. Kate Conetta (photo, right), a community activist and board member of Action Together CT, will share the pulpit with pastor Pat Kriss. Rev. Kriss and Conetta will talk about how to have respectful discussions about difficult topics, especially with mid-term elections and the holiday seasons coming up.

After the service, the discussion and a Q&A session will continue in a “second hour” in Annie Orr Hall.

Respectful Discussions About Controversial Topics

Open a discussion about politics or religion with your family and friends can be a great way to start an argument.

How can you change that?

Well, you can simply not have the discussion, but that’s not always an option. How do you have discussions about difficult topics without endangering your relationship with the people you love?

Kate Conneta, a community activist, will speak at the First Congregational Church of Danbury on Sunday, October 23. The first portion of her presentation will be at our 10 a.m. service when Pastor Pat Kriss shares the pulpit with Kate. The second part of Kate’s presentation will immediately follow the service in Annie Orr Hall. Kate will share more details on how to have respectful discussions, and she will take your questions and comments.

Five Common Questions About Controversial Conversations

  1. Why do we feel anxiety about conversations with people who disagree with us?
  2. How do we communicate our thoughts clearly when we are emotional about the topic?
  3. Why is this especially difficult during the holidays?
  4. Does a difficult discussion have to signal the status of your relationship with the person you’re talking to?
  5. When the discussion becomes too heated, how can I turn down the temperature?

A Better Way to Discuss Hard Topics Without the Hard Feelings

People need help to navigate the turbulent waters of election time and of the Holiday season. The holidays are a time of joy but can become stressful if encounter people who see the world differently than we do. It is possible that our conversations can be lively – even respectful of one another.

Who is Kate Conetta?

Kate Conetta, a community activist, was born and raised in Bethel and attended the United Jewish Center. A Danbury resident since 2011, Kate became active in community work in 2016. She serves on the board of Action Together CT, which supports progressive candidates and legislation.

A member of the Danbury Board of Education since 2019, as well as a member of the Danbury Area Justice Network, Kate’s focus has been on social justice in our community for most of her career. Her work often places her in a position of talking with and working with people of differing views, and she has become aware of effective approaches to have respectful dialogue with a broad sector of people.


First Congregational Church
164 Deer Hill Ave.
Danbury, CT 06810
Est. 1696

Phone: (203) 744-6177

Office Hours:
Monday Closed
Tuesday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Wednesday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Thursday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Friday Closed

Thrift Shop Hours:
Saturday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Sunday Worship:
Sunday   10:00 a.m.–11 a.m.


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