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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.

A Reflection for Ministry: Meeting our Shadows

When individuals and groups are aware of the shadow, their own and others, they are more accepting, forgiving, compassionate and loving, acting for justice while having mercy, honor and humility. To change the shape of ourselves is to change the shape of the shadow we carry and cast. To become transparent is to know, accept and relate to one’s shadow appropriately. I have heard people say that we can lose our shadows altogether, but I think to be human is to carry a shadow

Lent and Confession: A Model for Individuals and Leaders

Declaring a new dispensation by confession, we see our trespasses against others in a new light, initiated by something we were hiding not only from the world but also from ourselves. Holding the secret was not only a defense against punishment but also a holding back from our next outrageous step. To separate the confusion of punishment with revelation, we first of all confess to ourselves, step onto solid ground in the privacy and spaciousness of our own hearts, minds and moral imaginations and then translate it into the best speech we have to represent it in the world.

Conflict – What are the Costs?

Stuck inside a conflict, we may struggle to tally the costs, or we feel like the justification is worth the cost. But intentional work around tallying the cost can be helpful to the minister/leader, the congregation/organization and the family.

A Time and Season for All Things: Does that include procrastination?

Is procrastination always negative? Can it teach us something important? Are there times when we call something procrastination, meaning its negative, when in fact, it is not? Can “procrastination” hold positive meaning and significance? This article explores these questions thinking about the light and shadow side of procrastination.

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.

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.

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.