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Healthy Conflict Series Concludes with Prayer

posted Jun 14, 2011, 5:21 AM by Steve F   [ updated Jun 14, 2011, 9:31 AM ]
The Healthy Responses to Conflict training sessions concluded last night with everyone in a circle holding hands in emotional prayer led by Tom Yohe.   The training sessions, conducted by Sharon Barley and Gary Bonalumi, helped the participants understand how church conflict is a healthy and normal part of any "living" church. 

Participants were taught to identify their personal 'hot buttons' and the differences between observation and evaluation.  Techniques were presented to help people to move issues to resolution rather than to polarization.  Another take away was the need to communicate change in an open process that invites discussion about the positives and negatives, recognizing that 100% consensus is impossible.  Importantly, any living church must have a vision and self image that is shared by the congregation.

At the conclusion, the group developed a to-do list including:
  • Development of a congregational covenant that outlines how Leola UMC will deal with conflict.
  • Revisiting the strategic plan; reviewing, seeking input and revising as needed.
  • A commitment to self awareness of differences; listening and modeling.
  • Prayer, a commitment to pray for guidance.
  • Reconciliation, a service of healing and forgiveness.
Approximately 30 people attended each of the four sessions.   

Rev. Sharon Barley