Wally, I too “become a student of other people’s beliefs and views. Besides establishing rapport/relationship, it also is an opportunity to learn how the individual sees and understands his/her religion. My experience with people of the LGBTQ+ community is they are understanding and gracious with people who are open and want to embrace them, knowing that there will be awkward times.
Jennifer, focusing on God’s relationship with me and my relationship with God rather than “my faith” allows me the freedom to dialogue with other people who believe differently than I do. For me “my faith” is something I have to do – something I have to protect. This does not allow me to be open to hear other people.
Thank you for the UCC tag line: “God is still speaking …” Focusing on God’s relationship with me, rather than “my faith” leaves me humble and open to hear God speaking. Where “my faith” will fail me, God will not. As you say, “humility is the key that unlocks the dilemma” and gives me the freedom to, as you say, “step back and discern what religion or spiritual beliefs are doing for the individual who holds them.” I like this.