As December ends, the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center (LMPC) likes to use this time to look forward to the New Year and reflect on what the Lord has done in 2023 so far. One of our greatest joys is hosting training workshops for attendees to enjoy, and it brings added joy when those attendees are familiar faces.
Our Advanced Clergy Clinic (ACC) is a wonderful opportunity for our graduates of Leadership Development Through Family Systems (formerly Clergy Clinic) to come together year after year. It is our joy that those who gather continue to express positive sentiments about the training. Having concluded the first session of ACC in October, we have had time to reflect on the wonders presented.
This October, we were able to host Dr. Jenny Brown, Director Emeritus and founder of the Family Systems Institute (FSI) in Sydney, Australia. Dr. Brown shared her insight on Bowen’s “I” position in a refreshing way. She described how developing one’s own “I” position can become an act of humility that aids in serving others. By focusing on your own stance, you can allow space for others around you to become responsible for themselves in a beneficial way.
Another point Dr. Brown shared that benefits relationships is to talk to people in your close circles as people. We often forget that there is still so much to learn about the people we love! Rather than assuming you know what someone thought about a certain event, ask the question “How did you experience ____?” It is easy to get stuck on the labels we give those we love – mom, brother, partner, etc. – but it is our responsibility to stay curious about who they are as a person, rather than focusing on their label to us. We must resist the temptation to talk about others, and instead refocus on talking with someone about how they are experiencing their life.
To summarize, Dr. Brown shared refreshing insights from Bowen’s theory. Dr. Brown’s presentation struck a chord with all of those in attendance, as many participants stated her presentation as being a highlight for them. The two points that stuck out to me as a view were as shared above:
It is a blessing to have such transformative learning opportunities like this. The LMPC is thankful for Dr. Jenny Brown, and we look forward to the insight we are sure to gain from Dr. Israel Galindo in February.
— McKayla Barbour