Below are some links to articles, videos and stories that JustPeace staff have enjoyed this week. We hope you enjoy them too!
November 5th, 2015
- Congregational Consulting Group – Leadership in an Age of Polarization – David Brubaker offers suggestions for leaders on how to guide a congregation or organization into a positive future during heightened polarization.
We live in an increasingly polarized society where many public leaders model highly dysfunctional conflict behavior. But as leaders in faith-based systems, we can choose instead to manage our polarities on the basis of our deepest beliefs and values—including the importance of sustained relationships.
- Faith & Leadership – Krista Tippett: Will religious institutions rise to the occasion – In a recent interview with Faith & Leadership, Krista Tippett expresses hope and opportunity when asked about the future of religious institutions. She lifts up On Being’s Civil Conversation Project as an example of new ways congregations can engage their communities.
In the Civil Conversations Project that we do, we have a lot of churches saying, “We can be safe, trustworthy spaces for people to come together who aren’t already in relationship.” That’s a different role for the church than it used to play when it had these rolls of hundreds, but it’s new life. And it might be new life that is close to the heart of what Christians and the church are called to be in the world. I see that everywhere.
- UMNS – 20 ways to reach out on Veterans Day – The United Methodist News Service compiled a list of resources for congregations and individuals to reach out to Veterans and their families for Veterans Day
Now is the perfect time for congregations to engage in ministry with active troops and the families left behind. Here are 20 ideas.
- New York Times – The Art of Getting Opponents to “We” – David Bernstein writes about the work of Convergence, a young organization that convenes people and groups with conflicting views to work together on important national issues.
“Our country is not floundering and going under. We have a lot of extraordinarily talented people who are willing to come together, despite strong differences, and work out good solutions to public issues. To do that, however, they do sometimes need help in structuring the conversation.”
- United Church of Christ – Veterans Day: Understanding Moral Injury – Michael Neuroth challenges individuals and congregations to acknowledge Veteran’s Day by learning more about the challenges veterans face and to find new ways to extend compassionate care and healing.
In recent years, several UCC congregations have begun to study Moral Injury and worked in intentional ways to offer a compassionate welcome to veterans into their community.
- Documentary: Paper Tigers – A new documentary directed by Robert Redford’s son, James Redford, focused on a “trauma informed” approach used to reach children in emotional need. The film focuses on a high school in Walla Walla, WA and the inspiring promise of Trauma Informed Communities. On the link there is an interview with James Redford about the film. Below is the trailer.
- HuffingtonPost Religion – How People of Faith Are Dealing with Conflict and Why the Truth Does Not Lie in the Middle – Joerg Rieger, a professor at Perkins School of Theology, describes different ways people of faith engage conflict and argues that there cannot be true peace when injustice is present.
If it is the case that the wound of the people is still being treated carelessly and that some benefit from it more than others, well-meaning efforts at mediation and conflict resolution may make things worse. The truth does not lie in the middle when a few continue to amass wealth and power at the expense of everyone else while calling for peace.
- Faith & Leadership – It takes more than race to have a successful dialogue about race – Adrian Miller, the Executive Director of the Colorado Council of Churches, shares success stories of convening conversations about race in Colorado and offers suggestions for both black and white congregations to engage and strengthen their bonds.
The best conversations about race involve more than talking about race. When dialogue combines words with actions, discussions with shared activities and interests, the chances for success and sustainability are increased. Bringing people together for activities that require openness and real sharing can make everyone more comfortable so that we can then start talking about race.
Upcoming Events & Opportunities
- Nov 12 – 15, 2015 – Lake Junaluska Peace Conference (Lake Junaluska, NC) – Advance the work of reconciliation and peace by learning peace making and contemplative practices from the Abrahamic traditions. The 2015 Lake Junaluska Peace Conference leadership includes Dr. Sam Wells, Rabia Terri Harris, Rabbi Or Rose, and Yuval Ron.
- Dec 3, 2015 – The Power of Stories: Moving Beyond “Them and Us” – Public Conversations Project workshop in Boston, MA. This workshop offers tools and structures for harnessing the power of stories to move beyond stereotypes and fear, bringing “Us” and “Them” into relationship through understanding.
- Mediation Skills Training for Church Leaders – Lombard Mennonite Peace Center, March 7-11, 2016 in Dallas, TX; May 9-13, 2016 in Toledo, Ohio; August 1-5, 2016 near Chicago, IL. Click here for more information.
- June 14 – 17, 2016 – Restorative Justice in Motion: Building a Movement – Eastern Mennonite University’s Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice in Harrisonburg, VA. Convening a space to discuss our collective roles in the restorative justice movement’s gathering momentum.