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The Choice in Conflict Transformation and Difficult Conversations

December 8, 2014 @ 10:00 am - December 10, 2014 @ 12:00 pm


How do we as leaders help our congregations move through conflict in a positive way?

Facilitated by W. Craig Gilliam and Stephanie Hixon

December 8-10, 2014
10AM, 12/8 through Noon, 12/10
December 8 – 10, 2014
The Wesley Center, Woodworth, Louisiana.
(If coming from out-of-state, the closest airport is Alexandria, LA)
Registration Fee:$300
(includes private room, meals and seminar materials)
Continuing Education Units: 1.8

Find out more here.

Register for the event online here.

Description: As ministers and leaders, knowing how to engage conflict and difficult conversations well is both a skill to learn and an art to cultivate. No longer is it optional. To be a minister and/or leader moving toward excellence, working with conflict and walking with others through difficult conversations is part of the terrain. It will help participants formulate both a theoretical understanding and practical steps for working with individuals and congregations caught in anxiety and conflict and/or facing difficult conversations.

In this seminar, we will explore questions such as: What is at the heart of conflict? Why do so many conflict and change efforts fail? What is the best way to impact or influence conflict situations or change efforts so that communities are invited to grow and bring sustainable healthy change and peace? How do we engage in a way that increases the opportunity for response and minimizes resistance? What are some components we can put in place to help have difficult conversations?

Intention: To identify key principles for leaders as he/she leads through times of high anxiety and conflict; To develop an understanding and lens for seeing and understanding the dynamics of anxiety, conflict and human relationships during tense times; To understand our unskilled reactions to anxiety and conflict; To develop and foster skilled responses, techniques and strategies to help ourselves, people and congregations grow through conflict and have those difficult conversations; To explore how our thinking and the “way of our hearts” often contribute and help create and deepen the very conflicts we are trying to avoid or solve; To learn to engage conflict well and be a catalyst that influences second level change and peace-building processes in our systems/communities in positive ways.


About the Facilitators:

Stephanie Anna HixonStephanie Hixon is the Executive Director for JustPeace Center for Mediation and Conflict Transformation in The United Methodist Church, which provides an opportunity to embrace her passion for justice, peacemaking and conflict transformation. Stephanie is a trained consultant and facilitator in severely conflicted situations and has extensive experience with strategies and processes to assist institutions and communities to foster environments of mutual respect and regard for all persons. In addition to training, teaching and consulting, she has facilitated mediations and circles of accountability and healing within the Church.

She is an ordained elder in the Susquehanna Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and served congregations in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Stephanie also served as a member of the general secretariat for The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women in the United Methodist Church providing leadership as an advocate for a diverse constituency of women within the Church. She is an ordained elder in the Susquehanna Conference. Along with her colleagues, she believes that local churches can be centers of relational healing and peacebuilding for their members as well as the neighborhoods in which they reside. During her tenure as general secretary she offered expertise and support for the Church’s response to sexual harassment, abuse and misconduct.

Dr. W. Craig Gilliam cgilliam@justpeaceumc.org JustPeace Staff CollectiveDr. W. Craig Gilliam is the director of The Center for Pastoral Excellence for the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. Craig is on the JustPeace staff, is adjunct faculty at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, and consults with churches and other organizations in the Louisiana Conference and across the country. Craig has over 25 years of experience serving in the church. He is an ordained elder in the Louisiana Conference. Craig’s areas of expertise are conflict transformation, leadership education, team building, and group process.

Dr. Gilliam’s passions include family, exercise, poetry and martial arts. He is a 4th degree black belt in traditional Japanese Karate, has studied other martial arts and explores martial arts as a path to peace.

Primary Texts: (A list of books will be made available.)

  • Where Angels Dare to Dance: Dealing with Anxiety and Conflict in Congregational Life by Dr. W. Craig Gilliam
  • The Spirit and Art of Conflict Transformation by Thomas Porter
  • I-Thou by Martin Buber
  • The Journey: Forgiveness, restorative justice and reconciliation by Stephanie Hixon and Thomas Porter
  • Articles: Selection of articles and other material through the Center and JustPeace (These will be distributed at the event.)

Secondary Texts:

  • The Moral Imagination by John Paul Lederach
  • Turning to one another by Margaret Wheatley
  • The Little Book of Dialogue for Difficult Subjects by Lisa Schirch and David Campt
  • Dignity: The Essential Role It plays in Resolving Conflict by Donna Hicks

Please RSVP as soon as possible. Limited space is available.
To register for the seminar, please email centerforpastoralexcellence or call Linda Gregg at 225-490-0308.
For other questions, please contact Linda or email Craig Gilliam at wcraiggilliam@hotmail.com .

We hope you will join us for these times of growth and exploration!

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December 8, 2014 @ 10:00 am
December 10, 2014 @ 12:00 pm
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The Center for Pastoral Excellence


The Wesley Center
Woodworth, LA 71485 United States + Google Map