8/1 Update from Crossroads Resolution Group

IMPORTANT: Please scroll down to read the most recent (8/1) update from Crossroads Resolution Group. And, in case you missed them before, here are links to previous updates related to the peacemaking work they are assisting us with - // 3/27 Update // 4/3 Update // 6/4 Update // 6/24 Update // 

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August 1, 2020

Dear Faith Church and School Brothers and Sisters,

We are writing to provide all of you an update on the status of our peacemaking work with your leaders at Faith Church and School.

First of all, we want you to know that all of your leaders are actively engaged and are working and studying hard to have prepared hearts that can honor God in His reconciliation among them.  This has meant countless hours of assigned personal study of Scripture and other materials, and a great deal of prayer. In addition, there have been many one-on-one and group meetings with us toward learning and engaging in all that Father intends for them as His followers and as leaders at Faith Church and School.  Although not highly visible, this work is a very active, ongoing process.

As you may have already recognized, the meeting limitations caused by Covid-19 have often delayed us as well.  A recent potential exposure to Covid-19 by a participant, caused cancellation of an entire week of very important reconciliation meetings by many of your leaders, who were technically quarantined pending testing.  We are grateful to God that this person’s test results were negative for the Corona Virus.

Is understandable that some are wondering why, aside from the Corvid-19 caused delays, all this is taking considerable time and work to know and experience God’s intended reconciliation among His people at Faith Church.  We want you to be able to recognize that the cause of all conflict is spiritual in nature and for us as God’s people reconciliation of our conflicts is fundamentally spiritual – literally requiring God to teach us His new ways to live together in His peace.  Learning His ways always requires spiritual work – His work in our hearts. Without this, we are stuck in the world’s ways and, in our experience as peacemakers, this means we will only have/use the same methods that got us into conflict in the first place.  Simply, we need God to do what only He can do in our hearts first and then actually enable us to carry out His ways. (See Philippians 2:12-13)

It is also true that trying to coordinate among 20+ people’s calendars is a practical reality that effects how quickly we can proceed.

While your leaders are leaning into what God is doing among them, if you would like to better understand what they are engaged in, you can do so by:

  • Reading and asking the Holy Spirit to enlighten your hearts from 2 Corinthians 5: 14-6:2, and consider, if you wish to make it personal, the question, “How reconciled is your heart in all of this?”
  • Do the study of Colossians 3 that we have put on the Faith Church website.
  • Complete, if you have not already, the Pursuing Peace Together seminar, videos of which are available on the Faith Church web page and Participant Guides are available at the Church. This seminar video will help you understand what your leaders are learning and applying and will provide you with valuable teaching for your own life.

We want to encourage you that in these and other ways, especially in your prayers, you can actually assist the spiritual work that God is doing among your leaders. Specifically, we want to remind you of some practical ways you can support this process and those involved, which we provided you in one of our initial communications:

  1. Be in prayer for each individual involved, as well as the church and school community as a whole and the individuals within the community. Daily pray Ephesians 3:14-19 for specific individuals and the community.
  2. Look for ways to affirm each other and to affirm your relationships with each other, and the relationships others have. Believe the best about others (Philippians 2:3-4), and avoid judging others, engage in charitable judgments (Colossians 3:12-17). (See this article on Charitable Judgments).
  3. Talk to each other, not about each other to someone else. This is known as gossip, and always leads to more conflict and hurt.  (Proverbs 26:20).  If you have difficulty speaking with the person with whom you disagree or have an offense, seek assistance through coaching or help in the actual conversation from a neutral, mature believer.
  4. Avoid using social media (Facebook, texts, emails, twitter, Instagram) to discuss information or concerns about disagreements, misunderstandings, or offenses. The limitations and temptations of this less personal communication creates and exacerbates conflicts.  Stay away from reading comments about issues in conflict on social media.
  5. Look for ways to have direct, face-to-face communication with others, if necessary, ask for neutral help. Do not communicate anonymously or read anonymous communications.  It is impossible to respond to or seek understanding from anonymous communications.
  6. Give people space regarding the issues and concerns they may be working through, specifically if you are not directly involved. Offer to pray for them, show empathy and care, but don’t ask for details about the facts or individuals who you think may be involved.
  7. If you have a concern that you believe you do need to share with someone else outside of the church and school community, contact us. We are available to hear your story and provide coaching on how you can biblically respond to your concerns.  You can do so by emailing David Schlachter at david@crossroadsresolution.com and requesting a call.  All such communications are confidential.

Thank you for being the Body of Christ and supporting His work in and among you.

David Schlachter

Roger Duerksen