Best Continuing Education Ever

Tues., March 29 or Thurs., May 19, 2022

Are you looking for skills to be less anxious through trying times, resolve family conflicts and be a more skilled leader in any organization, including church? Our church would love to pay for you to attend one of two last classes (March 29 or May 19) taught by Rev. Richard Blackburn, founder and executive director emeritus of the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center, who trained and coached a number of us through difficult conversations at church over the past 5 years. Give yourself—and any human constellation you are a part of—the gift of this training. 

A description of both classes follows. If you decide to take them, just sign yourself up and submit a reimbursement request to Kit Dunbar. Let Rev. Molly or Rev. Kelly know you are taking it, and we can let you know if there are others from church in the cohort!

Facilitating Healthy Pastor-Congregation RelationsMarch 29

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.

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. For details please consult this FHPCR Brochure.

Leadership and Anxiety in the Church – May 19

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.

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.