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"I wish more people could sit down and talk about things like this with each other. I really think this world would be a better place if we could sit down and be rational and loving toward each other's individual views."

"Religion is a big passion of mine. As I reject all claims, I still find the topic very interesting."

"This is beautiful. The essence of tolerance doesn't mean we agree.... The essence of tolerance is respect."

"I love this! People with different ideals congregating peacefully and being open to listen to and understand each other's thoughts, feelings, and opinions on an otherwise controversial topic."

This is a selection of direct quotes from people of various backgrounds who all came together online to share in thoughtful conversation about life, faith, and Jesus.

This is THRED.

Lutheran Hour Ministries' newest outreach ministry, called THRED, launched Feb. 1. THRED is digital; its initial focal point is a Facebook page. People of all beliefs—or no beliefs—are invited and welcomed into discussions about thought-provoking topics.

"That's why LHM has called this outreach THRED," says project lead Andrew Fitzgerald. "When people participate in an online discussion, it's called a thread. The whole idea of THRED is for it to be a safe place for people to converse about things they care about. And while THRED unapologetically presents a Christian point of view, it also presents an environment that is open to all perspectives.

"And," he adds, "we're seeing some surprising early reactions to it!"

The most striking example is the discussion generated by one of THRED's "Jesus Dialogues" videos, posted Feb. 9 on the Facebook page. The video depicts roundtable chats by people with both Christian and non-Christian points of view on the topic, "What did Jesus say about heaven?"

"Viewers engaged in a big way," says Fitzgerald. "The post has had more than 66,000 views; more than 200 people—and they're not just Christians—have shared it in their own Facebook feeds. And the more than seventy comments in the discussion thread reveal some of the wide range of ideas people have about heaven."

For anyone who has questions or who desires to dig a little deeper into issues such as relationships, community, culture, God & Christianity, and a host of other contemporary issues, THRED's website publishes short and long articles on life and faith themes. THRED also has a presence on YouTube, where the ministry's growing collection of videos—including the "Jesus Dialogues"—is based. THRED has also recruited a team of ministry volunteers who can offer Christian perspectives in broad discussions—or in one-on-one conversations with participants who have specific questions.

"THRED is also designed to serve as a path, if you will," explains Fitzgerald. "Someone who engages with THRED's content can move through THRED into closer and closer community with thoughtful people of faith. We envision THRED bringing Christ to the nations—and the nations to the church in whole new ways."

Want to know more about THRED? Visit www.facebook.com/ourTHRED (Don't forget to Like it!) and THRED.org.

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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