Restorative practices are habits of a church community that seek to understand each person's experience, respect and welcome differences, and view conflict as inevitable and as an opportunity for transformation and strengthened relationships.
The Restorative Practices for Congregations Training, run by Shalem, helps church members and leaders better engage in conflict and build healthier, more restorative relationships in their congregations. During the three days, participants will get an overview of the philosophy of restorative practices, gain skills in creating circles and a restorative culture, and become trained in restorative conferences. Each day focuses on a different topic:
Day 1: Learn (The Restorative Paradigm)
Day 2: Circles (How to Facilitate Restoration)
Day 3: Conferences (Repairing Conflict/Harm)
As one pastor said after participating in the training, "Restorative practices give concrete tools for entering into tough conversations and actually setting the stage for Christian reconciliation. More than anything, it made me much less afraid of conflict. I finally had at least one tool to approach it in a God-honoring way. It's really beautiful. It reminds me of the kingdom of God."
The training will be held October 4-6 at Central Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, and is sponsored by the Reformed Church in America's Grand Rapids Classis and the following ministries of the Christian Reformed Church: Office of Race Relations, Safe Church, Office of Social Justice.
Trainers: Anne Martin and Mark VanderVennen
Cost to attend the three-day training is $200, which includes lunch each day. Scholarships are available upon request.
For more information and to register, click here.