8. Conflict Transformation in Community
“All of you, be of one mind, sympathetic, loving toward one another, compassionate, humble. Do not return evil for evil, or insult for insult; but, on the contrary, a blessing, because to this you were called, that you might inherit a blessing.” – 1 Peter 3:8-9.
“We should never judge one another, for the Lord is the one who is to judge us, nor should we dare be suspicious of one another. Even when we cannot excuse others’ actions, we should excuse their intentions. Let us learn to be generous toward anyone against whom we may have some cause for grievance.” – CC 16.
Generally, conflict is viewed as a negative phenomenon, and we talk about avoiding conflict. The first thing we require in dealing with conflict is to approach conflict as a necessary dynamic in human growth process. Conflict is natural and necessary for individuals and communities to grow, mature, and be productive. Consecrated life is no exception to conflicts. A fruitful and productive consecrated living includes the grace and ability to transform conflict into growth moments.
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines conflict at different levels: At intra-personal level, it is a “mental struggle resulting from incompatible or opposing needs, drives, wishes, or external or internal demands.” At interpersonal level, it is “competitive or opposing action or incompatibles; antagonistic state or action (as of divergent ideas, interests, or persons).” Conflict arises between groups and nations, leading to armed reactions and war. Christopher Mitchell defines conflict as “any situation in which two or more social entities or ‘parties’… perceive that they possess mutually incompatible goals.” At all these levels, conflict can also be seen as an invitation to grow beyond our current state of affairs. The way we respond to such challenge-invitation will define whether conflict helps us grow or remain stunted. The goal is to transform the destructive ways we deal with conflict in order to lead to constructive outcomes.
This booklet deals with conflict transformation (and not conflict resolution!) in our community living. We have already begun the process by the “opening exercise” we did! Haven’t you gained much insight into your own dynamics and that of your communities through the exercise? We will now build upon this learning with the help of the reflection and further exercises that follow.
1. Levels and Dynamics of Conflict
We can identify conflicts at four different levels. We have already alluded to them above in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of conflicts. We will see them in a bit more detailed way here.
- Intra-personal conflict refers to conflicts occurring within a person. Unless we have certain maturity in handling intra-personal conflict, we will struggle to deal with interpersonal, intra-group, and inter-group conflicts. Intra-personal conflict can happen when one’s unconscious motivations are at mismatch with conscious pursuits and values. It can also happen as a mismatch between “should” and “want.” “Should” is driven by values, religious beliefs, expectations, etc., whereas “want” is driven by one’s inner desires and the enticing environment. An example for intra-personal conflict, in the setting of religious life, would be the demands of vow of obedience conflicting with one’s desire for personal autonomy; or, affective demands impinging on one’s vow of celibacy. Such intra-personal conflict can play out with subtle to gross dimensions, and when not dealt with maturely, it can cause difficulties to the individual and to the community. When such conflict is driven by unresolved unconscious dynamics and becomes extremely disruptive, one might require therapeutic intervention.
- Interpersonal conflict occurs when there are differences of opinions, values, and goals of members who live in proximity to one another. When two or three people come together from different family, social, or cultural backgrounds and with different personality dynamics, such conflicts are a given. This happens in marriage, religious life, work place, or in any setting where people are required to interact. The conflicts that happen within our religious communities are mostly interpersonal in nature.
- Intra-group conflict happens within a particular group, be it religious, ethnic, political, or any other identity group. Here, the group is much larger than the kind of community setting referred to in the interpersonal conflict; here, the conflict has more to do with ideologies, life styles, and principles that affect the entire group. Such conflicts can happen within a major organism or even within an identity-group within a major organism, such as language or nationality groups (as in a multi-cultural or multi-linguistic community setting). Such conflict can also occur at a provincial chapter, when the ideological or ministerial direction the province wants to take becomes an issue of divergent opinions.
- Inter-group conflict refers to conflicts occurring between large organized social or identity groups. Conflicts between nations, races, religious groups, etc. come under this category. Such inter-group conflicts can occur within the Church over issues of liturgy, rites, liberal vs conservative approaches, etc.
We must keep in mind that the conflict that is foundational to all these four levels is the first level of conflict: intra-personal. We need to keep this insight alive in our minds as we engage with conflicts at other levels in our community living. If we have certain maturity to constructively deal with our own internal conflicts, we will bring that maturity to the interpersonal, intra-group, and inter-group challenges as well. Remember: everything is created twice: first, in our minds; later, out in our relationships. When faced with some interpersonal or intra-group issues, some religious ask for a “transfer” or are transferred as a solution to the problem. Sometimes it is the last resort, and sometimes it does help; but more often than not, it does not help or even cause the problem to get worse, because, the person has not recognized that he needs to work on himself—his way of dealing with conflict—in order to be able to deal with issues related to others. As the saying goes, “wherever he goes, there he is” and the problem persists.
2. Understanding Conflict and Context
In the context of community living, we will focus more on inter-personal and intra-group conflicts in the following sections. The first thing to do when we are faced with conflicts is to analyze and understand the context and the dynamics involved. Two approaches are discussed below as to how to go about analyzing and understanding conflict.
2.1 Identify the 3 Ps: People-Process-Problem Method
John Paul Lederach, a world-renowned peacebuilding interventionist, has proposed this model. In this model, we ask questions about three components: people, process, and problem.
People refers to the relational and psychological elements in the conflict. Here we look into people’s feelings, emotions, and perceptions of the conflict. Who are involved in the conflict? Who are the primary parties and who are the secondary parties in the conflict? How do they perceive the conflict and how do perceptions differ between individuals and groups involved in the conflict? For example, in a conflict related to intercultural community living, we ask the above questions to identify the various perceptions, feelings, cultural components implied in such perceptions and feelings.
Process applies to the way decisions are made and how people feel about them. The process of decision making can alienate or calm people down. When a decision is forced on people, they tend to get rebellious. Some may not overtly reject a decision but would be passive aggressive about cooperating with it. For example, in a conflictual situation in a religious community, the superior can command and enforce certain decisions, or can call a meeting where everyone can voice their opinion and come to a consensual decision. Or, even when there is no consensus available, the process of having consulted makes people feel “counted in.” So, in this step, we ask questions about how decisions are made and how well or ill they are received and acted upon.
Problem: It refers to the specific issues involved. Here we identify the values, needs, interests, threats, fears, opposing views, and concrete differences in the use of resources in the community. The questions we ask are: What are the major issues in the conflict? Are there hidden issues and needs? Are any common interests and needs identified? What are the different ways the problem is manifested? Using the metaphor of a tree as suggested by Babu Ayindo & team, we identify the root causes, core problem, and effects. The roots of the tree symbolize the causes; the trunk signifies the core problem; and the branches and leaves are the effects.
2.2. Recognize Your Personal Style(s) of Dealing with Conflicts
We all have our own preferred style of creating and dealing with conflict. Sometimes we use different styles at different situations. Understanding our style of creating and dealing with conflict is important in modifying our response and choosing a healthier option. Given below are two tools to diagnose your preferred style of dealing with conflicts, one of which is a fun-filled exercise, and the other, a more professional tool.
a. Your Conflict Totem
Let’s have some fun in learning here! Here is a humorous and culture-fair tool using animal types (no offence to animals!) to recognize the various styles we and others use (adapted from Hope and Timmell II, as given in Peacebuilding: A Caritas Training Manual, 2002). Recognizing as to who plays which animal can help us towards identifying our little contributions to the problem and finding a solution. Each style has positive and negative features; they can help or hinder conflict transformation. This is helpful when we live with people whom we know well. But avoid the danger of labeling them with animal names!
Which animal(s) capture(s) your style(s) of dealing with conflict?
Very stubborn and refuses to change his or her point of view.
Blocks the way, and stubbornly prevents the group from continuing along the road they desire to go.
Gets in and fights whenever others disagree with his or her plans or interferes with his or her desires.
Runs away as soon as he or she senses tension, conflict, or any unpleasant job. This may mean switching quickly to another topic (flight behaviour).
Buries his or her head in the sand and refuses to face reality or admit there is any problem at all.
Withdraws from the group, refusing to give ideas or opinions.
Changes colour according to the people he or she is with. Will say one thing to this group and something else to another.
Looks very solemn and pretends to be very wise, always talking in long words and complicated sentences.
Too timid to speak up on any subject.
Fools around, chatters, and prevents the group from focusing on serious business.
b. Personal Conflict Style Inventory (PCSI)
Well, that was fun, isn’t it? Revealing of our dynamics too! We now turn to a more formal, standardized tool to assess the way we manage conflict in our lives. Everyone has a predominant style of dealing with conflict. We may also adopt different styles when the intensity of the conflict differs or when conflict becomes ongoing. Here is a Personal Conflict Style Inventory (hereinafter referred to as PCSI), which is a variation of the Thomas-Kilmann instrument and examines how we react to conflicts when they first arise and how we respond when the conflict becomes intense or full-blown.
The five major styles analyzed by the PCSI are: accommodating (smoothing), competing (forcing, authoritative command), avoiding (withdrawing), collaborating (problem solving), and compromising. Please note: none of these styles is bad or wrong! It all depends on the conflict situation. One style may be better than others in a given context. What we need to keep in mind is that each style suits a particular conflict situation and hence, we must reflect as to which style is most helpful in a given conflict situation. Also, if your test results indicate a couple of styles to be dominant, it is a good sign—that you are flexible enough to use different styles. (On the contrary, if one of the styles in your test result has a very high score and the rest have very low scores, it indicates a rigidity of style, that might hinder the conflict transformation process.) Knowing our styles helps us be flexible and adopt another style that might be more functional in a given context. Here is a little diagram that briefly explains the five styles and their dynamics.
Source: Banuelos, M. . Conflict Management Styles
3. Conflict Transformation: Some foundational Skills
Before we discuss some of the Models for conflict transformation, we shall see some foundational skills we need for dealing with our conflicts and transform them into growth-moments.
3.1 Change the Frame
You must be familiar with this celebrated quote from Albert Einstein: “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” Very true! We have already discussed in the above pages how each party’s perception of a situation or problem is important in escalating or transforming a conflict. Hence, one of the fundamental skills we should have is the willingness and flexibility to “change the frame” of our perception and look at the situation from different vantage points. This will help us in many ways: (1) understand the perspectives of others, (2) recognize that a problem has many sides and hues, (3) become tolerant and receptive to the views and opinions of others, (4) facilitate and identify new ways of solving the problems as change of frame can trigger new insights as to how to transform a conflict in creative ways.
Multiplicity of Frames
One of the classic exercises in recognizing that there are different ways of looking at a situation or problem is the “Old Lady-Young Lady” phenomenon. Look at the picture given below. Who do you see – an old woman or a young lady? Whichever person you see initially, slightly change the mental frame and look at the picture from that different frame, and you will see the other woman. This exercise helps us realize that there are different ways people look at a situation and it is important to recognize those multiple perspectives.
From Inter to Trans and Ego-Frame to Eco-Frame
A major frame change we need to embrace in our Claretian community living is the willingness to move from “inter” to “trans.” If we try to solve the problems caught up in the “inter” – between and among ourselves, we may be stuck with the problem for ever. We need a paradigm or perspective shift to “trans” – transcending ourselves and transcending to a higher perspective or frame. A “seeing beyond.” This seeing beyond can mean looking at the problem from the vantage point of our mission or our vocation or the first love of God and humanity that brought us together. That will help us relativize the problem and see it on a wider canvas and respond accordingly. One of the lighter comments I used to hear during my seminary days from some Claretians when faced with some disappointments or challenges was “compared to eternity, what is it after all?” That is a very good “trans-ing!”
We must also move from ego to eco frame of reference. This applies to community living as well. If we can look beyond our egos and connect to the ecosystem we are in, with its many layers (community, major organism, mission, Congregation, Church, society, earth, universe, God), we can relativize our problems and have a different perspective. Indeed, many problems fizzle out when we compare it with the larger frame and purpose of life. And the greatest “transing” is to sit on God’s porch and look at the world and ourselves with His eyes.
Here is a classic “Nine Dot Problem” that shows us how a change of perspective from inter to trans can help us solve the problem. See the picture of nine dots given below. Your task is to connect all nine dots with only four straight lines, under the following conditions: (1) Do not lift your pencil off the paper once you begin, (2) Do not pass over a line that you have already drawn, (3) Use only straight lines, (4) You cannot use more than four lines. Clue: This problem can only be solved if you succeed to “change your frame.” You can see the explanation and solution at the end of this booklet.
3.2 Role of Compassionate Communication
Another key element in conflict transformation is compassionate communication. If our communication is healthy and appropriate, we can even avoid some unnecessary conflicts! As Rollo May observed, “Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.”
Nonviolent communication, or better put as Compassionate Communication is an art and science. Our communication can get very violent and hurting. Sometimes lives are made or shattered by the words spoken by some significant other at a very vulnerable time, which linger on and constantly undermine one’s self-esteem and self-confidence. Hence, it is very important to learn how to practice compassionate communication. Since this is a full-length topic on itself, I will only refer you to an excellent resource, Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life (Comunicación no violenta: Un lenguaje de vida) by Marshall B. Rosenberg. This book is a workshop in itself. It is strongly recommended that the community reads this book and dedicate a day to discuss and practice the methodology mentioned there – simple, but profoundly powerful!
4. Conflict Transformation: Suggested Models
Having identified our personal styles of dealing with conflicts and learned three foundational skills, let us now look at some models to transform conflicts in the most practical manner. We borrow these models from three sources: The Holy Scriptures, Congregational documents, and some traditional spiritual practices.
4.1. Following Biblical Models
The Holy Bible is a rich repository of conflicts and conflict transformation along the journey of the people of God! A few of the famed conflicts from the Bible are listed below. We recommend that you take each of them or locate other conflicts and use them separately for reflection and insights on conflict transformation, as a community exercise:
- Conflict and conflict transformation between Jacob and Esau: Cf. Genesis 27, 32-33.
- Joseph’s conflict and its transformation with his brothers: Cf. Genesis 37, 42-45.
- Jesus’ teachings on conflict transformation: Cf. Matthew 18:15-19.
- Conflicts in the First Christian Community over receiving the Gentiles to the Church: Cf. Acts 11:1-18.
- Conflicts in the First Christian Community over the question of circumcision: Cf. Acts 15.
Given below are a summary of “practical tips” gleaned from the above events as well as some scriptural injunctions collectively.
- Time Out: When emotions flare up, take a break and do something else (e.g., go for a walk, do some gardening, go to chapel and pray). This ‘time out’ helps you calm down emotionally and return to reason. Jacob took a time out when conflict arose with Esau.
- Engage in Self-Reflection: “…For all have sinned…” (Rom 3:23); “Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye….?” (Matt 7:3-5).
- Reframe the Negative Experiences: Joseph reframed the negative experience of being sold into slavery as an act of God’s Providence.
- Seek out your Brother in Private: “So far as it depends on you, be at peace with all”(Rom 12:18); “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone” (Matt 18:15). “So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember….” (Matt 5:23-24); “…You who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness…” (Gal 6:1).
- Dialogue: Respectfully speak your mind. Explain your perspective with a view to helping the other understand. Speak from the vantage point of values, and not personal biases.
- Offer forgiveness as an act of love / ask forgiveness as an act of humility: “Come to terms quickly with your accuser…” (Matt 5:25-26).
- Consult Elders: Respect their wisdom.
- Use Mediation:“Take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church.” (Matt 18:17); “When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints?… Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers?” (1 Cor 6:1-8).
- See God’s face in your brother. As Jacob did.
- Repay evil with good. As Joseph did.
- Keep charity and the common good as the highest norms.
- Cultivate Peace: “So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another” (Rom 14:19); “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called Children of God” (Matt 5:9).
4.2. Aspirational Model of the Congregation
Our Constitutions stipulate the following for a life of fraternal communion and reconciliation (CC 12-13, 15-18):
- Celebrate the Eucharist together daily.
- Receive every ministry from the Community.
- Engage in humble and charitable speech.
- Refrain from discord, quarrels, grumbling. Avoid whatever wounds friendship.
- Never judge the other.
- Even when we cannot excuse the action, excuse the intention.
- Practice generosity.
- Welcome diversity among brothers, preserving unity of Spirit.
- Treat the elderly and the sick with love and respect.
- Love one another, bear one another’s burden.
Missionarii Summus No. 48 offers the following directives:
- “Shape our communities to be an eschatological sign of unity, peace and reconciliation.
- Build, among ourselves, a missionary community in a spirit of dialogue, acceptance and mutual appreciation, discerning together its ministries and services.
- Reinforce the sense of belonging and community co-responsibility.
- Value and accept as indispensable the ministry of intercessory prayer and suffering of our elderly, sick and impaired brothers.
- Appreciate and integrate the creative energies of the younger generation.”
4.3. Traditional Spiritual Practices
Some of the traditional practices of the Church as well as the Congregation, if recovered and practiced, can be helpful in preventing unhealthy conflicts and effecting conflict transformation:
a) Regular Examen of Conscience
An age-old practice that has fallen out of favor in some communities is the daily examination of conscience. Let’s honestly ask ourselves: Do I do the examen of conscience on a daily basis? If the answer is yes, you would already have the grace and skills to deal with conflicts. If no, well, let us get back to making it a daily habit. Our Father Founder, Saint Anthony Mary Claret made examen of conscience every day at noon and evening, and it was a constant fixture in his retreat resolutions. He used to make general and particular examen on chosen virtues (for example, cf. Autobiography # 637, 646, 765, 782, 801).
b) Sacrament of Reconciliation
Of equal and even greater importance is the regular reception of the sacrament of reconciliation. Here also it is worth asking how frequent is our habit of going to confession. Again, Father Founder is our best example for making confession an essential spiritual practice. He spent hours hearing confessions and recommended confession as a spiritual sine qua non for everyone (for example, cf. Autobiography # 51, 52, 85, 88, 187, 200, 209, 212, 295).
c) Eucharistic Celebration in Community
There are communities where eucharistic celebration with all members is a rarity. There are individual Claretians who do not celebrate Mass if they do not have an assigned Mass in a parish. Our Constitutions tell us that “fraternal life is best symbolized and brought to perfection in the Eucharist” (CC 12) and “every day we should wholeheartedly celebrate the mystery of the Eucharist” (CC 35).
d) Daily Reading – Spiritual and Literary Classics
With the arrival of electronic gadgets, there is a tendency to limit ourselves to Twitter-long information and superficial news, and neglect spending time reading literature of greater depth and reach. Daily spiritual reading is a must. Our Constitutions # 37 invites us to “engage in spiritual reading, especially from the Scriptures, and examine our fidelity to the gospel.” It is also important to make it a habit to read literary classics as well as authentic self-help books (the word authentic is important, as there are plenty of fake ones in market) which can help us learn better about ourselves and human nature in general, giving us insights into how to deal with conflicts, intra- or inter-personal.
e) Spiritual Direction and Vocational Growth Sessions/Psychotherapy
Having regular spiritual direction is a great help in recognizing and healing our tendencies towards conflict. Having a mature, insightful spiritual director should be a must for every Claretian. Such a director can accompany us in greater discernment of God’s Will and a sounding board when faced with conflicts. It is also advisable to avail of vocational growth sessions (VGS) or counselling or psychotherapeutic services. Often there is an erroneous thinking that they are meant only for those who have ‘problems.’ In fact, they are very useful adjuncts in our project of human flourishing.
f) The Emmaus Walk: Personal Dialogue with the Other
A practice that would go a long way in helping us avoid unhealthy conflicts and transform conflicts when they invariably arise is to spend time with the other members of the community. This can be done in many ways: by having our meals together; by having regular recreation time together; by watching Television together. But besides all these good practices, the best would be to have regular Emmaus walks: spend time on one-on-one with each member of the community, sharing your life story and listening to the life story of the other. Knowing a person in close quarters and listening to him is the best to grow in empathy and compassion. Such intimate moments of learning about the other as well as offering the gift of self-disclosure will help us grow closer as brothers in faith.
Conclusion: Transformed Communities
We began with the assertion that conflicts are natural and are growth moments. No human community is free from conflicts. Let us be realistic that in our religious living and ministering, conflicts are bound to occur. However, if we approach the conflict with a mature perspective and a transcendental vision hinging on God, the result of such conflicts would be a community that is transformed for the better. We grow as mature and authentic human beings and grow closer to our brothers in our community. This is evident in the history of the early Christian community. Though they were of “one mind and heart” initially (cf. Acts 4:32), sooner than later there emerged conflicts regarding neglecting widows, admitting gentiles, circumcision, etc. However, when the community approached them in prayer, discernment, and honest discussion, the Church was transformed for the better. The same can happen to us too when we approach conflicts with the Grace of the Holy Spirit.
A beautiful artistic expression of such conflict transformation is evident in the movie Of Gods and Men. It is a 2010 award-winning French motion picture directed by Xavier Beauvois. It tells the story of the martyrdom of seven Algerian Trappist monks in 1996. It is also a beautiful exposition of a “crisis” or “conflict” in a religious community: In the context of the threat of Islamic terrorists, the civil authorities asked the monks, who were all foreigners and hence potential victims to violence, to leave the country and save themselves. The superior, convinced that it was wrong to leave, decided that they would stay; but he did so without consulting the community. Was it right for him to decide for others? Did they all really want to stay? It was a conflict rooted in one’s freedom to choose. How did the community face the conflict? What methods did it adopt? How did they arrive at an appropriate and just decision? How was the community transformed thereafter?
Watch this movie as a community, specifically focusing on the “community dynamics” and the conflict transformation implied. What learning outcomes can possibly be there for your community living? Apply the insights to your community living and discuss with your community members.
1. For Further Reading on Conflict Transformation (in alphabetical order)
Bolton, R. (1986). People Skills: How to Assert Yourself, Listen to Others, and Resolve Conflicts. New York: Touchstone.
Caritas Internationalis. (2002). Peacebuilding: A Caritas Training Manual. Vatican: Caritas.
Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional Intelligence: Why it can Matter More Than IQ. New York: Bantam Books.
Jones, L. B. (1999). Power of Positive Prophecy: Finding the Hidden Potential in Everyday Life. Santa Clara, CA: Hyperion.
Jones, L. G., & Musekura, C. (2010). Forgiving as we’ve been Forgiven: Community Practices for Making Peace. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Lederach, J. P. (2005). The Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Peacemaking. New York: Oxford University Press.
Lederach, J. P. (2014). Reconcile: Conflict Transformation for Ordinary Christians. Harrisonburg, VA: Herald Press.
Lenski, T. (2014). The Conflict Pivot: Turning Conflict into Peace of Mind. MyriaccordMedia.com
Rosenberg, M. B. (2003). Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life. Encinitas, California: Puddeldancer Press.
Senehi, J. (2002). Constructive storytelling: A peace process. Peace and Conflict Studies, 9(2), 41-63.
2. Solution to the Nine-Dot Problem
Due to the perceptual principle of closure, we see the nine dots as a square. That is, due to the proximity of the dots in the form of rows and columns, we tend to close the spaces and see it as a square. This “mental set” or “perceptual habit” blocks finding a solution to the problem. You can never solve the nine-dot problem by approaching it as a square. You can only solve it if you “break” your habitual frame and see it in a different perspective—approach it as a triangle. You need to start at any dot and go beyond the dots to a higher or deeper plane, and then come down and enter another dot, with the new frame of a triangle, to have the solution.
3. Personal Conflict Style Inventory
You can download the PCSI from: https://workingwithconflict.files.wordpress.com/ 2013/04/hlc_06_personal_style_inventory_.pdf [The Spanish version is available for purchase here: www.riverhouseepress.com/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&view= productdetails&virtuemart_product_id=38&virtuemart_category_id=2&Itemid=176] It is good that everyone in the community takes this test and discuss how each one’s preferred styles help or hinder conflict transformation.
For prayer and reflection
Read any of the passages and share in the community how the early Church addressed conflicts and unrest in the community or between persons.
1. Acts 6:1-6: Tension between Hellenistic Jews and native Hebrews over the distribution of food to their widows.
2. Acts 15: 1-21: Racial prejudices and theological dispute and. The Jews could not understand how Gentiles could be accepted by God without first becoming Jews. The question of the role of Torah and the grace of Christ in salvation was a serious matter of difference in the Christian community.
3. Gal: 2:11-13: Paul rebukes Peter. Acts 15: 36-41. Disagreement between Paul and Barnabas over Mark.
How do you deal with conflicts and disagreements at a personal level? How does your community deal with conflicts and differences between members? What differences do you want to make in the light of your reading and reflection on the theme of this month?
 Source: Banuelos, M. . Conflict Management Styles.
Sin and division in community
Iniquity, sin and transgression are the words which Bible uses to express a human condition which often causes suffering and hurt in our relationship with God, others and nature. It is also the ground where the Good Shepherd seeks the lost sheep. How do we integrate the dimension of sin in communities?
- Communities Configured by the Mission
- The Community "Oikos"
- The Community School of Disciples in Mission
- Prophetic and Contemplative Community
- Liturgical and Celebratory Community
- Walking Forth in the Spirit. Practicing Discernment in Personal Life and in Communities
- Leadership and Organization of the Community
- Conflict Transformation in Community
- Forgiveness and Reconciliation in Community
- Celebrating Life and Mission in Intercultural and Intergenerational Communities
- The Dream of Being Community
- The Paschal Mystery in Our Communities