Conflict Transformation

Articles for navigating in crises

How do we make sense of this current challenge and prepare ourselves for the future?  The Conflict Transformation Team offers reflection, insights and suggestions for congregations.

June 17, 2020

Due to the Coronavirus, our culture experienced an extremely swift change in what ‘typical’ life looked like. In addition to changing daily routines and interrupting income for many it has thrown us emotional challenges like most have never experienced. While we continue to navigate our changed daily life, we cannot even latch on to a vision of a future that will feel familiar. How do we make sense of this experience and prepare ourselves for the future? Continue reading the article here.

Pandemic of Grief: Interaction and Dynamics

by Jane Anderson and The Conflict Transformation Team

July 8, 2020

This pandemic has taken a toll on us and the longer it goes on the greater the toll. In the US, more than 3 million people have contracted the virus and over 130,000 people have died. If that wasn’t alarming enough, the ways that it is affecting the very fabric of our society is taking a huge toll. Initially, we saw how people pulled together and did whatever was necessary to help one another stay well and stay safe. But, now, in our grief we are pulling one another apart.

David Brooks, a columnist for the NYT, has said this has proven true throughout history. That in the early stages of a pandemic we see people exercising patience and understanding, care and compassion. But as it wears on, not only do people die, but compassion dies.

I fear we are beginning to bump against this phase of the pandemic. Continue reading article

Understanding Conflict Progression

By Beth Voigt, Wisconsin Conference Conflict Transformation Team

July 29, 2020

Our beloved beagle mix died last fall at 17 years of age. It was the first time in twenty years I had been without a dog in the house. And…it was nice! We could leave the garage door open without fear of the dog hurtling through to terrorize the neighbor. No more late night trips to the 24 hour grocery store because we had (again) left dog food off the shopping list. Of course, we missed the companionship but I was in no hurry to add a canine member back into the pack. Until the pandemic hit. We were cooped up together, three teens distance learning, and… surfing the rescue dog websites. So now we have a young shelter dog, who has an abundance of energy and unwelcome behaviors.

This may seem a strange way to start an article about conflict, power, control and competing values in congregations, but what we are learning from working with our dog has much in common with how conflict escalates in church!

Continue reading article

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