Bringing Restorative Practice into Congregational Life

bringing-rp-into-con-life

Using the Restorative Questions: Let us Pray

Faith communities offer unique opportunities for introducing explicit and intentional restorative practices to build healthy communities.

Here’s one practice you can try using the restorative questions.

This practice could be used in a meeting, a workshop, a retreat or during a worship service.

The leader asks those present:
(The questions can be provided so people can jot down their thoughts.)

  • Think of a situation in your life that needs healing. (Period of silence*)
  • Who has been impacted and in what ways? (Period of silence)
  • How have you been impacted? (Period of silence)
  • What’s the hardest thing for you? (Period of silence)
  • What needs to happen to address the situation and move forward? (Period of silence)
  • What are you willing to do to address the situation and move forward? (Period of silence)

* The period of silence depends on the circumstances. For example, if you use this practice during a workshop or retreat, you may wish to have a the period of silence for 1-3 minutes. In a church service you may wish to limit the silence to 20-30 seconds

The leader prays, asking that all that has been named in silenced be infused with love and understanding as people find the courage to move forward in ways that bring healing creating bonds of understanding, dignity and respect.

If the church has a restorative team, the names of the members of the team can be made available if people need help to address the named concern.

The benefits of the practice:

  • People will become familiar with the restorative questions and begin to incorporate them into their lives.
  • There will be an explicit expectation that broken relationships should be addressed restoratively.
  • The practice will provide the opportunity for the congregation to develop a restorative practice culture and an explicit way to provide support for restorative practice through the congregational restorative team.
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