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Creating a Container for Conversation

If a strong enough container has been built, then when the heat gets intense, the container can hold, which helps transform the content in the container and the container itself as well as the participants and the DNA or soul of that collective community

Becoming Shapers of Context

I have come to believe that the outer space/context in which we work is only as open as is our inner space out of which we live. They are parallel processes. For me, this is part of the underbelly of leadership—the interior conversation that enables us to offer our best, deepest gifts, and to be shapers of context, rather than being shaped by the context.

Poetry makes nothing happen

In this Lenten Resource is the poem, “Poetry makes nothing happen,” by Craig Gilliam with a comment by a friend about the poem’s meaning for leaders; in addition, a Lent Prayer by Howard Thurman.

Robustness and Vulnerability in Leadership and Ministry

In other words, when I enter a courageous conversation and find my anxiety rising, I remind myself that I have or will be given what I need to meet whatever or whoever emerges in the encounter. My primary task is to show up, to be present, and to pay attention; then, to offer what I can honestly and respectfully

Advent: A Time for Waiting and Longing

Longing during this season of Advent is the transfiguration of waiting and aloneness, the cyclical season, the womb of alchemy, the ritualistic recognition of aloneness transformed into longing. It is the defenseless interior core of a person receiving its overdue invitation from the mystery of the universe – the moon, the stars, the night horizon and the great tidal flows of love and life; all are from God. Advent is a sacred season of being and becoming the Oneness of what is! Immanuel, God with us and in us

Do we really need conflict resolution?

The problem with “conflict resolution” is that it creates or reinforces the notion that conflict is bad, sinful and destructive and should not exist. Once we stop seeing resolution as an end in itself, we can understand more clearly the real nature of the underlying conflict — what it says about the system, the living body and its needs.

Have you ever thought of your church as haunted?

Our congregations and we cease to be haunted when we cease to be afraid of our past; our present and our possible future, our horizon, or those we wronged, those we did not help or those who we think might wrong us. We forgive ourselves and our congregations forgive themselves by changing the pattern, and we change the pattern by forgiving others and ourselves. Our fear is the measure of our absence.

10 Topics that can Escalate Anxiety in Congregations

In congregational life, some common topics activate anxiety. I call these hot buttons or triggers of anxiety. When these topics emerge, anxiety appears and can easily escalate. Although the list is not exhaustive, it highlights some common topics that escalate anxiety in congregations with whom I have worked: