This past weekend, many of us had the privilege of participating in a reconciliation workshop focused on waging war on peace.  Many thanks to the 56 people who participated on Friday evening, those who came together on Saturday and to Rev. Brad Munroe and Rev. Jen Fraser for facilitating a stress-free learning environment.  If folks feared exposure to stress and confrontation, the opposite was true.  We learned and laughed, interacted and had fun with one another.  Yes, we explored the nature of conflict including the ways that individuals handle it.  We completed a profile which helped each of us better understood our own personal comfort with disagreements and our ways of managing stress.

Importantly, we came to understand that each of us is a part of the church body that makes up one body. Just as the one human body is made up of many individual parts, so the church is a whole body comprised of many members.  Events function as they do in Mission del Sol based on each part contributing to what’s happening.  Change and stress in one part of the church body can produce change and, sometimes, stress in other parts.

Through interactive activities, we explored the ways we experience our congregation together. Along a continuum, we grouped ourselves at one end of a line or the other in response to a dozen statements such as “our church views conflict as wrong or dangerous” to “our church views conflict as an opportunity for growth”.  By the end, we gained a better understanding of the way our church body responds to disagreements and stressful situations.

We examined scripture and realized that conflict exists in every major section of the Bible, and most importantly, we examined the way that Christ’s life illuminates the path for resolving conflict through direct communication, open dialogue and interest or need focused brainstorming.

Saturday, May 6, offers the second workshop that will focus on healthy systems, the ways that anxiety spreads throughout the church system and ways that we can stop it from spreading.  All members of the congregation are encouraged to attend, including those who were unable to attend the first set this past week.

By: Cyndi Reighard