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Thu, Aug 19, 2010

Two Resources on Conflict in Congregations - A Report and a Workshop Guide

Conflict happens in religious congregations just like it does in any organization. This post points to two useful resources for making the most of internal conflicts and working together to support peacemaking on a broader scale.

imageThe 8-page Conflict in Congregations Public Report, produced by the Center for Congregations, is intended to “help lay and clergy leaders understand more fully the resources that address congregational conflict, as well as the nature of congregational conflict. This resource inquiry involved interviews with conflict consultants and leaders from congregations who have experienced conflict.” It provides a good orientation to the process of managing conflict within a congregation and some signposts to watch for. Developed with support from the Lilly Endowment.


The other notable resource, available as a print-friendly pdf or interactive online workshop is the Peacemaking without Division learning pathway presented by the Congregational Resource Guide website (developed in partnership between the Alban Institute and the Indianapolis Center for Congregations). The Peacemaking Without Division module is based on a nice workshop design developed over time by Pat Washburn and Bob Gribbon to explore approaches to dealing with peacemaking issues in congregational life. It presents the full outline for the workshop that centers itself around a biblical passage on peacemaking - “For what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love constantly, and to walk humbly with your God.” These three requirements are used to envision reconciliation or peacemaking on three levels, pictured as three radiating circles involving the personal, the communal/interpersonal and the global/transpersonal. Nicely presented and thoughtfully sequenced, the workshop looks like a “winner” to me.

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Posted by: Bill Warters on 2010 08 19 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  

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