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Sabbath Day – Conflict Mediation Training

March 1, 2013

“The clergy collar is often the screen upon which parishioners show their home movies.”


I have spent this entire week, including my sabbath day, in a Healthy Congregations / Mediation Skills Workshop, sponsored by my presbytery. That’s eight and a half hours a day of coursework and role-play in family systems theory, mediation skills, healing strategies, and reconciliation. In addition to the intense work (which is necessarily autobiographically and vocationally challenging), my congregation is the host site, which has been an honor, a privilege, and and a few more hours a day for me. My congregation’s vision of “generosity and hospitality” have been on display – but it has meant extra long days for me.

Joyfully given, richly rewarded.


Our training has been conducted by Richard Blackburn of the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center, and sponsored by the Hudson River Presbytery. It has been a powerful reminder of emotional systems training I sought out when first entering ministry and which is responsible for my staying in ministry. It has been a great “skills development” week which will be useful in every aspect of my current ministry. In addition I have met some wonderful Episcopal and Congregational colleagues who I hope to stay in touch with.

[BTW: Sabbath Day is my weekly post (every Thursday) on how I spent my sabbath day. It is also a way of staying accountable for taking the sabbath time God intends as part of a just-healthy life. While the workshop has been restorative, it has not been the re-creational, re-newing, re-connecting-with-my-family, or rest-full time that I require in a sabbath. It will be made up in coming weeks.]

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