How well do you do engaging difficult conversations? What if there was a way in which we could differ on an issue, and engage this difficult conversation in a healthy way? In our day to day world, we encounter many such conversations – often in destructive ways. Unity in the face of disagreement is hard work. What should we do when the stakes are high, we disagree strongly, and we all care deeply about the outcomes?
Often, we engage in destructive conflict and make things worse or we walk away, resigned and cynical. How can we hold on to what we believe and also stay connected to those who see things differently? How do we stay calm and thoughtful when the emotions in and around us are so powerful?
In this workshop, we will learn principles and practices for managing ourselves as the tension around us and in us rises. We will learn how God will help us grow our own maturity in the face of conflict in ways that help us to be healthier and more effective in our congregations, our classes and our families.
We will learn:
- To see our own anxious reactivity so that we can make different choices.
- To learn how systems (such as congregations, classes and families) react to anxiety in ways that make things worse
- To focus on changing ourselves instead of changing other people
- To remain calm so that we can think creatively and effectively
- To act out of our deeply held values despite pressure to do otherwise
- To stay connected to others without being defined by them
- To see all these principles and practices in the life of Jesus as a crucial part of our discipleship
On August 1 from 9AM to 4PM CDT at Ebenezer Reformed Church, Morrison Illinois you will have an opportunity to learn how to engage difficult conversations from Trisha Taylor and Jim Herrington. Jim and Trisha have been working together for some time now to help others engage difficult conversations. This could be of help to your work, your marriage, your greater family, your church, and even to yourself. The RCA is in the middle of a need to have a difficult conversation about the issues that tend to divide us. In order for us to make God honoring decisions about these matters, it may help us to learn a bit about having healthy conversations. This workshop is for pastors, consistory members, and anyone in the local church.
To register, send your name, email address, and church you attend to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 20. Simply pay a $10 fee at the door to cover lunch.
General Synod 2020 took place June 6-11 on the campus of Hope College in Holland, MI. For a recap, click HERE.
The RCA and the CRC are collaborating to Equip Churches for Renewal – The Reformed Partnership for Congregational Renewal (RPCR), a collaborative effort between the CRCNA and RCA to focus on equipping and supporting congregations as they journey through renewal. The RPCR is considered a “third space” for the denominations; as of January, it became a separate legal entity, with neither denomination holding ownership. Learn more about this exciting partnership by clicking HERE.
Faithward – a new RCA resource for propelling faith forward. At Faithward, we’re helping Christians expand their imaginations for loving and following Jesus. We’re offering tools and models for discerning God’s invitation to us as Christians. And we’re encouraging and equipping Christians to live differently in every area of their lives—for the sake of the church and for the sake of the kingdom. Click HERE to check it out.
The RCA’s Board of Benefits Services Employee Assistance Program provides free, confidential Christian counseling either at at an outpatient clinic in your area or via an online telehealth session. Up to 3 sessions per issue are provided at no cost to any employee of an RCA church. Some common issues addressed are depression, anxiety, work-related problems, marital issues, family issues, substance abuse, and others. The 24 hour hotline number is (833) 244-2490. For more information click HERE.
News from Camp Manitoqua
Camp Manitoqua is in full swing for its summer camps – please pray for campers to have a meaningful encounter with Jesus and for staff to be used in a fruitful and powerful way!