“I have heard some Friends deny their anger in a silent ‘peace’ where there is no understanding of each other…
It does not matter who’s wrong. What matters is that we care enough to talk to each other…
This is where peace starts.”
Sue Norris, Qf&p 20.68
Advices and Queries 31 encourages us to ‘search out whatever in our own way of life may contain the seeds of war (conflict)’.
You might think that our peace testimony would make us expert in maintaining relationships and handling conflict. But in our experience there is as much conflict in Quaker Meetings as in other areas of our lives. The reality is that conflict is inevitable; it’s how we deal with it that matters.
Handling conflict and navigating difficult conversations are challenges we all face in our personal, community and working lives. Often we come away from such situations realising that we could have handled things better, but not necessarily knowing how to go about improving our approach and skills.
The Restoring Relations project is an initiative by a group of Friends to redress this experience. Our approach draws on a number of sources to set out a process that help us understand and handle conflict better, whether dealing with an isolated incident or resolving a long standing issue.
Restoring Relations has two connected streams of work; workshops, where individuals reflect on their experiences, learn new approaches and practise related skills, and an online resource (wiki), where anyone can learn about approaches to handling conflict and share their knowledge and experiences. Find out more at our website.
Our next half-day open workshop is to be held at Selly Oak Meeting House on Saturday 11th August 2018. Places are limited to 16. You can register and pay (£15) online. For more information contact us at email@example.com.
An opportunity for outreach and engagement with our communities
Delivering our workshops, to a mixture of Quakers and non-Quakers, has highlighted that people appreciate a safe place to discuss, and learn about handling, the conflict in their lives. We see this as an opportunity for Meetings to engage with their communities. To discuss how you might take the first step by running a workshop, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.