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All Events

Webinars

SHALOM: Six Perspectives on the Pursuit of Peace and Justice

We enjoyed creating this exciting series and presenting it for the first time in the summer of 2021! We are debating whether to bring it back in 2022, to make it available on Vimeo, or to create something entirely new, so stay tuned! For brief descriptions of each webinar, please consult the Shalom Series Brochure.

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The topics included Why did Jesus have to die? (June 8 with J. Denny Weaver); Does our past really matter? (June 29 with Devon Miller); Are humans responsible for the wellbeing of Earth? (July 13 with Naomi Wenger); How can we become a trauma-informed church community? (July 28 with Jay Wittmeyer); What are the terms of justice? (August 10 with Devon Miller); and Is the fabric of our society beginning to fray? (August 24 with Jay Wittmeyer). Thanks to all those who joined us this summer!


Single-Day Events

Conflict Transformation Skills for Churches

Conflict is a normal part of life; unfortunately, the church is not exempt. This workshop will give participants the knowledge and skills necessary to manage conflicts within their congregations in a healthier manner. Join us and learn to regard conflict not as a negative force, but as a positive opportunity for reconciliation, spiritual growth, and a renewed awareness of God’s will for your church.

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In this workshop, you will learn:

  • That conflict need not be bad, but is an opportunity for growth.
  • The Biblical basis for conflict transformation.
  • Your own style of responding to conflict.
  • The communication skills necessary to resolve conflict peacefully.
  • Strategies for preventing destructive conflict in the church family.
  • A model for working at congregational decision-making in a win-win manner.

Workshop Outline

To see the standard outline of this workshop, click on the Workshop Flyer

.  Please note that this workshop schedule can be customized for groups if needed. For a slightly expanded version of this workshop, see Conflict in the Church: Entrusted with the Message of Reconciliation below.

Facilitator

The facilitator for Conflict Transformation Skills would be Jay Wittmeyer, Executive Director, or Devon Miller, Assistant Director. 

Hosting a Workshop

This all-day workshop in conflict transformation is one of LMPC’s more popular programs available to groups, and is suitable for church retreat days, Saturday workshops, or part of a weekly adult education series. This workshop would also be appropriate for Christian schools to consider for a faculty in-service program or retreat.

Would you like to provide this training for a group?  Your church, judicatory, or organization can sponsor this event in order to provide this training to your staff, leaders, or members of your community.  For more information about sponsoring and hosting this event in your area,  call us at 630-627-0507, or email us at admin@LMPeaceCenter.org.

Conflict in the Church: Entrusted With the Message of Reconciliation

Description

The workshop Conflict in the Church: Entrusted With the Message of Reconciliation is an expanded version of our Conflict Transformation Skills for Churches.

This workshop spans a Friday evening plus all day Saturday, making it suitable for church retreats. It would be an effective workshop for churches that are currently experiencing conflict—or those who simply want to work at preventing destructive conflict in the future.

Hosting

Groups interested in exploring the possibility of hosting a workshop can call LMPC at 630-627-0507 or email us at admin@LMPeaceCenter.org. For more details and an outline of the workshop, read the workshop flyer.

This workshop can be adapted, depending on the nature and desires of the hosting group. Other possible topics include: Conflict Transformation Skills for the FamilyConflict Transformation Skills for the Classroom, and An Introduction to Mediating Interpersonal Conflict.

Facilitator

The facilitator for Conflict in the Church: Entrusted with the Message of Reconciliation would be Jay Wittmeyer, LMPC Executive Director, or Devon Miller, LMPC Assistant Director.


09/25/2021

11/03/2021

Jan. 29, 2022

March 26, 2022

May 7, 2022

Sep. 24, 2022

Nov. 5, 2022

Facilitating Healthy Pastor-Congregation Relations

The church is experiencing something of a crisis in the pastorate system. Clergy morale is low, with pastors under attack as never before. And increasing number of involuntary pastoral terminations leave a lasting legacy of pain in many congregations. this workshop is intended to help congregations address these problems.

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This workshop suggests some structural changes that have been found to help churches function in more healthy ways. In addition, attention is given to emotional processes and the ways that leaders function, integrating family systems theory and the insights it provides with regard to leadership and self-differentiation.


October 5, 2021

Healthy Congregations

Healthy Congregations uses the insights of family systems theory to help church leaders become more effective stewards of their congregations. This workshop was developed by Dr. Peter Steinke and is based on the work of Dr. Edwin Friedman, author of Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue.

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The Healthy Congregations workshop is designed to equip leaders to respond to the presence or potential threat of anxiety in a congregational system in ways that prevent destructive conflict and help the church stay focused on its unique mission and purpose. This workshop will help you:

  • Learn how you as a leader can influence the health of your congregation – how to detect and avoid unhealthy patterns of living together in community
  • Learn how to keep anxiety from becoming infectious
  • Gain confidence in responding to challenges and opportunities
  • Learn how to put limits on invasive behavior, manage reactivity, and overcome sabotage
  • Discover how leaders can function as the congregation’s immune system
  • Learn to focus on strengths, resources, options, and the future

Facilitator

The facilitator for such a program would be Jay Wittmeyer, LMPC Executive Director.

Workshop Outline

To see the standard outline of this workshop, click on the Workshop Flyer. Please note that this workshop schedule can be customized for groups if needed.

Sponsoring Healthy Congregations

Would you like to provide this training for a group at a time and place that is convenient for you?  Your church, judicatory, or organization can sponsor this event in order to provide this training to your staff, leaders, or members of your community.  For more information about sponsoring and hosting an LMPC training event in your area,  call us at 630-627-0507, or email us at Admin@LMPeaceCenter.org.

Background

Healthy Congregations is a workshop originally designed by Peter Steinke, author of the books How Your Church Family Works: Understanding Congregations as Emotional Systems and Healthy Congregations: A Systems Approach.

A key concept at the heart of Healthy Congregations is “self-differentiation,” meaning people’s capacity to calmly articulate what they think and value, and to act on that basis, while staying in active relationship with those who disagree.

This crucial training for both clergy and lay leaders is designed for presentation as a single, nine-hour workshop. It can be adapted for formats such as leadership retreats or an adult Sunday School series.


09/25/2021

12/02/2021

Feb. 26, 2022

April 2, 2022

June 4, 2022

Aug. 27, 2022

Oct. 1, 2022

Leadership and Anxiety in the Church

Rooted in Scripture and grounded in Bowen family systems theory, this workshop identifies differentiation of self and anxiety as two key variables impacting human functioning. Leadership and Anxiety looks at the challenges presented by the rising levels of anxiety being experienced in churches today, as well as the role that self-differentiated leadership can play in calming such anxiety. Works of fine art illustrating Biblical themes help facilitate theological reflection on the themes being presented.

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We live in an age of increased anxiety, which impacts church systems and leaders.  Family systems theory offers a way of understanding congregational dynamics and anxiety.  This seminar looks at the challenge presented by the rising levels of anxiety being experienced in churches today, as well as the role that self-differentiated leadership can play in calming such anxiety. 

  • Distinguish between acute anxiety and chronic anxiety
  • Compare the family projection process as understood in Bowen family systems theory, with René Girard’s understanding of scapegoating
  • Gain insight into how the scapegoating process impacts church conflict
  • Understand emotional triangles and the importance of maintaining non-anxious presence
  • Recognize the role of playfulness in defusing anxiety
  • See self-differentiated leadership as a key to overcoming the impact of anxiety
  • Enhance your role as a leader in the church

This workshop has been designed especially for pastors, church council/vestry/session members, pastor–parish committees, and judicatory leaders of all denominations. For participants to derive maximum benefit, we recommend that a team made up of clergy, staff, and lay leadership from the same congregation would attend the event together. The facilitator is Richard Blackburn, LMPC Director Emeritus and Senior Consultant.

 Workshop Outline 

 To see the standard outline and schedule of this workshop, click on the workshop flyer.  Please note that this workshop schedule can be customized for groups if needed.

 Recommended Reading

 For a basic grounding in Bowen theory as it applies to the family, we recommend One Family’s Story by Michael Kerr.  For an introduction to how Bowen theory applies to church systems, a book by Ron Richardson, Peter Steinke, or Arthur Boers would be a good place to start.  These books and more are available for purchase at the workshop or directly from LMPC.  For a list of all books we keep in stock on this topic, along with an order form, please click here.

 Sponsoring an LMPC Event

 Your church, judicatory, or organization can sponsor this event in order to provide this training to your staff, leaders, or members of your community.  For more information about sponsoring and hosting an LMPC training event in your area, call us at 630-627-0507, or email us at Admin@LMPeaceCenter.org.

Registration & Discounts

Online registration is available here on our website via TicketSpice. If registering a group, please have the name and contact information for each registrant handy. You will be assessed a small fee for this service.

If you prefer, you may submit the registration form found on the relevant brochure and mail it to us along with your payment by check. You can download a brochure by visiting our Brochures & Forms page, under the RESOURCES tab.

For each of our single-day events, a discount of $15 per person is available to groups of four or more, provided they register all together with a single payment. We request that you complete your registration at least one week in advance of the workshop to ensure the timely arrival of the workshop manual. Please provide the name and contact information for each participant at the time of registration.


Sep. 29, 2021

Nov. 4, 2021

MSTI Refresher Course

This one-day event, to be called Journey Toward Healing, is being reworked for 2022. It will be equally appropriate for those who have taken our Mediation Skills Training Institute and need a refresher, as well as for those who would like an introduction to our popular 5-day event. Please check back for updates!

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The fee for this one-day event, which typically runs from 9:00am to 4:00pm Central Time, will be $99. The tentative dates are January 25, 2022; April 7, 2022; and September 21, 2022.


Multi-Day Events

Mediation Skills Training Institute

This 5-day event is designed to equip church leaders with the knowledge and skills necessary to deal effectively with interpersonal, congregational, and other forms of group conflict. It also includes a component on congregational mediation and consultation, placed within the context of family systems theory. Although focused primarily on the church setting, the skills learned are directly transferable to other settings, including the business and academic worlds. Join us and found out for yourself why a previous participant described MSTI as “The best and most thorough model for mediation with individuals and congregations that I have experienced in more than three decades of ordained ministry”!

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Conflict is an inevitable part of life, whether in the home, school, community, church, or workplace. Having the skills to function effectively in emotionally intense, conflicted situations is important for all of us, especially those of us who are leaders.  Lombard Mennonite Peace Center has trained thousands of church leaders from a wide range of denominations in the skills that are needed to deal with conflict in the church setting through its Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders.

The institute includes lectures, discussion, and guided practice in role-plays. Active and practical in focus, the sessions emphasize hands-on skills training and real-life role-plays based on the kinds of conflicts faced by participants. For more details, please consult this 2021 MSTI Brochure. If none of these dates fit your schedule, then you might consider contracting with us to present MSTI when it is convenient for you!

Who Will Benefit

  • PASTORS and INTERIM PASTORS of all denominations— to enhance skills for managing
    conflict in the church.
  • JUDICATORY LEADERS— Bishops; Conference Ministers; District Superintendents; Diocesan,
    Presbytery, Synod Staff– to assist pastors and congregations in handling conflicts.
  • DENOMINATIONAL OFFICIALS and CHURCH CONSULTANTS— to bring healing in the midst
    of divisive church fights.
  • LAY LEADERS and PASTOR-PARISH COMMITTEE MEMBERS— to receive valuable leadership training to benefit the church, while also gaining insight for peaceful conflict transformation in the home.
  • ADMINISTRATORS— to introduce conflict transformation to the organizations they oversee.
  • MANAGERS and SUPERVISORS— to help workers diminish conflict and enhance productivity.
  • COLLEGE and SEMINARY STUDENTS— to gain hands-on skills training not typically offered inregular classes.
  • ATTORNEYS— to gain skills in alternative dispute resolution procedures.
  • COMMUNITY MEDIATION CENTER STAFF and VOLUNTEERS— to acquire additional skills in a transformational model of mediation for working with both individuals and groups.

The Mediation Skills Training Institute runs daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with the exception of Monday, which starts at 9:00 a.m., and Friday, which concludes at 4:00 p.m.

The Institute includes lectures, discussion, and guided practice in role-plays. Active and practical in focus, the sessions emphasize hands-on skills training and real-life role-plays based on the kinds of conflicts faced by participants. A more detailed description of the sessions is available upon request.

Like all our other events, every session of MSTI scheduled for 2021 will be held online via Zoom.  In addition, there will be a limited number of openings for in-person attendance at the session in August in the Chicago area. We are grateful that St. Mark’s has graciously agreed to host this event once again!

August 2-6, 2021
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
393 N Main Street ~ Glen Ellyn, IL ~ 60137

Tuition is $750, which includes five full days of instruction and a hard copy of the MSTI training manual. We strongly encourage you to register at least two weeks before the event begins so that your manual arrives in time. Cancellations are subject to a $100 nonrefundable fee if LMPC is notified at least two weeks prior to the institute, or half of the registration fee otherwise.

Jay Wittmeyer, Executive Director of the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center, is the facilitator for MSTI

For those attending the August MSTI in person, daily refreshments will be provided. Participants will need to arrange their own lodging and meals. For helpful information, such as nearby hotels or dependable taxi service from a major airport, either contact our office or visit a reservation website such as Trivago for current prices, availability, reviews, amenities, etc.


Nov 15-19, 2021

March 14-18, 2022

May 9-13, 2022

June 13-17, 2022

Aug 1-5, 2022

Nov 14-18, 2022

Clergy Clinic 2021-2022, Group A

Building on the concepts presented in our Mediation Skills Training Institute, this 9-day series is designed to enhance the ability of participants to function as self-differentiated leaders within their own ministry setting.

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Clergy Clinic will be conducted remotely via Zoom. Each day will begin at 9:00am and conclude at 4:00pm Central Time. Participants are asked to read Extraordinary Relationships by Roberta Gilbert and and One Family’s Story by Michael Kerr. Both books are available for purchase from LMPC.


Oct 25-27, 2021; Feb 14-16, 2022; and May 2-4, 2022

Clergy Clinic 2021-2022, Group B

Building on the concepts presented in our Mediation Skills Training Institute, this 9-day series is designed to enhance the ability of participants to function as self-differentiated leaders within their own ministry setting.

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Clergy Clinic will be conducted remotely via Zoom. Each day will begin at 9:00am and conclude at 4:00pm Central Time. Participants are asked to read Extraordinary Relationships by Roberta Gilbert and and One Family’s Story by Michael Kerr. Both books are available for purchase from LMPC. For additional information you may wish to consult this CC Save-the-Date flyer.


Nov 8-10, 2021; March 7-9, 2022; and May 23-25, 2022

Advanced Clergy Clinic 2021-2022

This series is designed for graduates of our Clergy Clinic and for those with an extensive background in Bowen family systems theory. If you have not attended Clergy Clinic but are wondering if ACC might still be appropriate for you, please contact our office. Registrants are expected to attend the entire 9-day series.

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The dates for ACC 2021-2022 are Oct 18-20, 2021; Feb 7-9, 2022; and April 25-27, 2022. This year’s distinguished guest presenters are Rev. Trisha Taylor, Dr. Barbara Laymon, and Rev. Jake Morrill. For details consult this ACC Brochure. You can register by clicking on the orange Register button, by filling out the form on the flyer and sending it with payment to the LMPC office, or by giving us a call at 630-627-0507.


Oct 18-20, 2021; Feb 7-9, 2022; Apr 25-27, 2022