We live in a time of great division. Many of our classes, churches, and even families are struggling with the conflict that comes when people disagree on matters of great importance to them. Too often, these disagreements can lead to hurtful words, harmful actions, and ultimately broken trust and relationships.
Synod 2018 encouraged the Christian Reformed Church in North America to work on the process of reconciliation. In response to an overture, Synod 2018 specifically recommended, “That synod urge the executive director to work with the appropriate agencies and ministries to publicize existing resources addressing unresolved conflict in our history and the need for reconciliation.” (Acts of Synod 2018, p 473)
Below is a list of resources that we have gathered that might be helpful to individuals and congregations on this topic:
- (Un)Hurt - by David Snapper, there is a video workshop and a workbook
- 52 Great Bible Studies for Youth: Forgiveness - downloadable resource (in PDF format) with four sessions on what God teaches us about forgiveness.
- Discover the Power of Forgiveness - by Edith Bajema, there is a study guide and a leader's guide, in both print and digital
- El Asombro del Perdon (the wonder of forgiveness) - by Jose Barron, Spanish resource
- The Elder's Handbook - includes a chapter on how to deal with conflict effectively
- Reformed Worship 126 - includes a study of Habakkuk on division and reconciliation
- Disagreeing Agreeably - post on The Network that leads to a webinar resources
- Restorative Practices for Congregations - post on The Network that summarizes a training resource that is available
- Harnessing the Power of Forgiveness - post on The Network that links to some ebooks from Family Fire
- Forgiveness - by Andy Kuyvenhoven from the "What the Bible Teaches" series. This book is out of print, but is available in the digital library
In addition, there are many local resources available in different regions where our CRC congregations are located. This includes Shalem’s Faithcare in Ontario, private mediation services by CRC practitioners in Alberta North, and the Colossian Forum in West Michigan.