I went into the restorative process willingly but didn’t expect much from it. I was hurt and angry. During the circle something changed. I finally had a chance to say what I needed to say. Everyone heard me, and everyone listened. The experience was much more positive and helpful than I could have imagined.
This comment captures one of the essentials of the Restorative Practice services we offer. Restorative Practice services give people voice. Even though sometimes people don’t want to hear what others have to say, people speak and people listen. Those in conflict have difficult but helpful conversations.
We offered a lot of restorative services throughout 2014. Through our partnerships with FaithCARE (Faith Communities Affirming Restorative Practices), the Centre for Workplace Engagement, the International Institute for Restorative Practice and other connections with the wider community, we worked with 24 communities, including schools, workplaces, congregations and camps. Over 350 people participated in restorative circles; over 270 people were part of our trainings.
To get a sense of what it means to be a restorative church, take a look at “Building Faithful Community Through Restorative Practice” in The Church Council on Justice and Corrections’ most recent issue of its e-bulletin SAGE (01.2015 No.8)
Shalem has also developed a Vacation Bible Study based on restorative principles, “Building God’s World Together.” If you’d like information about this VBS, please contact us. We can provide training for your VBS staff to make the experience a success.
As we move into 2015 we’re developing our partnership with the Centre for Workplace Engagement (CWE), a group of restorative practitioners who offer restorative services to the workplace. Using restorative principles, the CWE supports workplaces to develop a healthy work environment with engaged and productive employees. If the workplace is in trouble due to conflict, the CWE can help. The CWE’s work also supports workplaces that wish to meet the CSA standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.
Wondering about creating a healthy workplace? Mark Vander Vennen offers insights in his blog, “What Does it Take to be ‘Empowered, Valued and Connected’ in your Workplace?”
We’re excited about the CWE. We’re working hard to develop our services. The CWE is about to launch a new website in late April. Watch for it!
Whether you’re interested in restorative services for a school, workplace, congregation, or a community group, or if you just want to know more about Restorative Practice in general, we’d love to hear from you.