The past few months have been busy for Shalem’s restorative practice team. We are so excited about the leading role Shalem can take in supporting and training communities in Restorative Practices close to home and internationally! Here are a few of the highlights.
We worked with congregations to support them through challenging times including transitioning back to in-person worship and meetings after COVID. We also provided services to help congregations deal with unresolved conflict.
Our facilitators have worked with congregations from a number of denominations including the Christian Reformed Church, the United Church, the Anglican Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada, and the Christian and Missionary Alliance.
The restorative practice team continues offering support to schools facing challenges to staff and board relationships.
- Listening Circle Training
The team has worked closely with the Pastor Church Resources Ministry of the Christian Reformed Church in North America to develop and implement listening circle training. The first project was to offer training to engage participants to listen to each other about the denomination’s Human Sexuality Report. A second training is being developed to encourage conversations as congregations find their way forward following Synod’s response to the report.
- FaithCARE training
We completed another FaithCARE online training. We had an excellent group of participants from across North America.
In the near future, FaithCARE will be hosting another virtual restorative practice training: Learning How to Grow Restorative Churches: support for interim/transitional ministers. This two-part training is recommended for Pastors, Council and Board members, Leadership teams, pastoral care teams and denominational staff, and is particularly geared toward Interim or transitional Leaders. It will be offered as a set of weekly afternoon sessions.
Part One introduces a framework of basic principles to create a relationship-focused community with an increased capacity to work through, and grow from, conflict handled well. Participants will learn ways to apply framework principles to support a community to connect with its story or narrative, speak civilly with one another, hold productive meetings, make good decisions, and move forward well.
Part Two builds on Part One with in-depth training to facilitate conversations when there’s unresolved conflict, harm has occurred or when people are experiencing deep grief. The training will focus on conflict arising out of power-vacuums, side-taking, and disagreements over vision and mission.
Keep an eye on our website’s event page to register for this training.
- Trainer of Trainers
FaithCARE has offered its first Trainer of Trainers course in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This training marks a milestone for the FaithCARE team as the community of restorative practitioners grows. FaithCARE’s role in training and mentoring new facilitators has been successful and satisfying. We have learned so much from the people we work with.
In partnership with EduDEO, Anne Martin returned to Guatemala in August 2022 to offer a 5-day training for educators. Participants were trained to facilitate conversations when there is high end conflict or when harm has happened to individuals or the community.
We are looking forward to the fall, as we anticipate Shalem’s RP team continuing to respond to communities to provide support and training in Restorative Practices.
Anne Martin is the Director of Restorative Practice Services at Shalem and Director of Consulting Services for Shalem’s Centre For Workplace Engagement.