223rd Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren
San Diego, California — June 29, 2009
For the past several years Brethren Community Ministries of Harrisburg, Pa., has worked with inner-city youth on conflict resolution skills. Youth are mentored through a series of five stages of skills development in this program, which has become known as “Agape Satyagraha.”
The five skill levels are:
White Level: understanding how conflict escalates
Green Level: anger management
Blue Level: de-escalating conflicts
Brown Level: dynamics of power in conflict
Black Level: negotiation and mediation
Each level has a set of criteria and curriculum that help youth to develop their skills in conflict resolution. Youth are mentored one-on-one through the five stages of the program at their own pace, advancing to the next level as they demonstrate a competency and understanding in the previous level.
On Earth Peace is partnering with Brethren Community Ministries to further develop this program and to offer it to other congregations in different ministry settings. Marie Rhodes, a staff member of On Earth Peace, works as the program coordinator and is interested in establishing 11 new pilot sites to adopt this program in the next three years.
She says the organizers know the program works well in the urban Harrisburg setting but realizes that it may need to be adapted to work well in other settings, and hopes that these pilot sites will help to adapt the curriculum to fit each setting.
If you are interested in becoming a pilot site or for more information contact Marie Rhodes at On Earth Peace.
–Rich Troyer is youth pastor at Middlebury (Ind.) Church of the Brethren.
The News Team for the 2009 Annual Conference includes writers Karen Garrett, Frank Ramirez, Frances Townsend, Melissa Troyer, Rich Troyer; photographers Kay Guyer, Justin Hollenberg, Keith Hollenberg, Glenn Riegel, Ken Wenger; staff Becky Ullom and Amy Heckert. Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, editor. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.