We live in a time of violent conflict in the world. We also live in a time in which many people experience significant conflict in their intimate relationships. Frequently people experience significant conflict in the workplace. Conflict is a necessary part of life, but conflict can be either created or destructive.
The United Methodist Church has initiated a program called JustPeace which seeks to develop tools for healthy conflict transformation. Asbury Church and its pastor have been very involved in this movement. The pastor is a trained mediator and consultant for churches and organizations experiencing conflict. Training in creative conflict transformation is offered regularly at the church. Currently training is being offered in a particularly creative approach to conflict transformation known as “Circle Process.”
Circle Process is a way of approaching important conversations and a way of dealing with conflict in which people gather in a circle for sacred conversation, rather than battling it out to win a debate. Circle Process is simple enough that can be learned by children, yet it is a sophisticated tool used in complex mediation.