pray as Jesus prayed in John 17:11 that we "be one as we [He and the Father] are one." Your prayers are being answered.
Gregory Carpenter, the interim chair of the Conflict Transformation team in the UMC Wisconsin Conference has invited Chris to help him lead a workshop entitled "Embracing Conflict" at Laity Leadership Convocation 2016 in Oshkosh on March 19th. This invitation begins to fold the work of our team into the activity of the Wisconsin Conference.
The purpose of the workshop will be to review resources which prepare churches for when conflicts arise. Although the resources will include intervention tools, we plan to emphasize tools used proactively to prevent conflict from escalating to the point at which intervention is required in the first place. Here your prayers can be answered again, as congregations apply these resources to be one as Jesus and the Father are one.
Chris' contribution will be to answer questions about the tools on the GRINfree website and the research described in the books Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences (i.e. we are built to disagree with each other), The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion (i.e. societies are rapidly evolving "superorganisms"), and Teamology: The Construction and Organization of Effective Teams (i.e. teams built to disagree experience greater internal conflict but are more effective at innovation).
The research Chris will share may surprise some attendees. It implies that we are designed to be in tension within our congregations, much as bone and muscle are designed to be in tension within our bodies. Please continue to pray as in John 17:11, so that the participants can process this evidence and bring more oneness to their congregations.
Thank you so much for your continued prayers!