Emotional Systems, Conflict Transformation and Faith Communities with Dr. W. Craig Gilliam

This webinar will explore the lens of seeing congregations as emotional systems, especially during times of high anxiety and conflict. Transforming such anxiety and conflict is both an art and a science. We will discuss anxiety and its impact on congregations/communities and best practices for helping communities find their way through it. In this conversation, we will also explore the theologian Martin Buber’s insights on an I-Thou way of being to help congregations and leadership grow through conflict and become stronger, deeper and more vital.

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Webinar: Appreciative Inquiry, Conflict Transformation and Faith Communities with Dr. Joy Samuels

This webinar will explore the possibilities of an Appreciative Inquiry approach with congregations impacted by conflict. Rather than focusing on problems to be diagnosed and treated, Appreciative Inquiry focuses on discovering and appreciating the best of what is, imagining what might be, designing what should be and creating what will be in a vital faith community.

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Webinar: Narrative, Trauma Transformation and Faith Communities with David Anderson Hooker

This webinar will explore where and how trauma might be affecting the community and then consider a variety of approaches for responding to trauma within the community and congregation. Our relational approach to trauma emphasizes how trauma is manifested and also how we might respond to its manifestation. We will utilize a case study (provided in advance) for interactive discussion.

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What does self-knowledge and self-awareness mean for individuals and congregations?

We are neither purely individuals nor fully creatures of our communities, but an act of becoming that can never be held in place by a false form of nomenclature. No matter our need to find a place to stand as individuals or as faith communities amidst the onward flow of the world, the real foundation of the deepest, self is in the self-forgetful remembering of the meeting itself.

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A Phenomenology of Conversation: A Guide to Ministry

I have come to believe that much of our ministry is about the phenomenology of conversation. Our ministry is not only about conflict transformation but about inviting, creating and holding space for emerging conversations toward ministry; deep, active listening not so much advising, coaching and sounding wise; being able to hold ‘not-knowing’ and the courageous questions calmly, non-anxiously; not so much about disconnect as connection; not so much about a narrative of blame as an invitation to responsibility; not as much about the chaff as it is about the wheat and the positive growth and deep roots that are happening. We are about the many wellsprings of conversations, wisdom and insights emerging.

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Conflict can be a good thing!

Creating and living in a culture that engages conflict well reminds us that living is not about being free from tension, anxiety, complexity and conflict but about being free to live life fully and to engage deeply in it. The mysterious God is at work in the betweenness of our deep engagements, relationships and connections. Thou meets us in this space and invites us to this holy other way—a soulful way of variety, complexity and multiplicity, not just unity and harmony.

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Reflections on Resilience

To be a resilient congregation, community or person means to be able to turn whatever we experience into something meaningful and useful. It means being present with what is happening, to absorb, to reflect and grow through and from our experience, even the negative experiences that feel as if they can destroy or take the best in us away, and to harvest and digest the food into ourselves and the community’s soul or DNA for the better.

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I-Thou, Creativity and Compassion

Being alive in human form is a constant opportunity and invitation to be in an I-Thou way of the heart, acting and being compassionate and creative. Every day, every minute, we’re presented with situations good and bad, easy and difficult, mundane and exceptional. In those situations, we have a choice of how we will be toward another.

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