A high water mark was reached last week when 35 Christian theologians, pastors and church leaders engaged in two and one half days of dialogue and training in conflict management at ICM. Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists and others from across the theological spectrum participated in an experience they described as “once in a lifetime”. We worked, we ate, we laughed, we ate, we cried and then we ate. It was an incredible time for relationship building and in the process we all learned something: the work of reconciliation in our churches is hard, but eternally gratifying.
Why is church conflict so difficult to address? Because it is based on our values and beliefs, the reasons behind our positions are less open to exploration. Nonetheless, when we explore the reasons for our relationships and seek to create safe and constructive dialogue, a path to reconciliation is built. I will never forget my new best friends. I can’t wait to be with them again.
Click HERE to read an op/ed piece in The Tennessean that appeared in this morning’s paper.