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Thursday, 21 June 2012

Conflict as opportunity

Conflict as opportunity for ministry was the theme of a plenary session at the Diocesan Readers' Conference on 16 June, in Cologne. The Revd Sara MacVane, the Assistant Priest at St Andrew's Zurich, led the session. She distinguished between "honest conflict" on the one hand, where parties, even though holding different opinions, are trying to promote the good of the Church, and "toxic behaviour" on the other hand, where conversation and communication become secretive, manipulative and destructive.

Sara recognised the potentially important role that Readers have in addressing conflict in our congregations. They are often the only minister a local priest in our diocese can talk to and share situations which are problematic. As lay persons they also understand the investment, often emotional investment, that people have in their local church.

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