|Photo by Regina Holmes|
|One of the MoR observers on duty at the 2011 Annual Conference. For some years, the Ministry of Reconciliation (MoR) has provided observers as a resource for participants in the Conference business sessions. This year, the ministry also is helping to provide teams of trained volunteers who will be available to be called on as needed throughout the Annual Conference venue.|
The Annual Conference officers have invited the Ministry of Reconciliation (MoR) of On Earth Peace to resume its role of presence at the 2013 Annual Conference. The diverse group of trained volunteers will be present and attentive, ready to respond where confusion, conflict, or negative emotions are causing a problem in the gathered body, said a release.
Identified by wearing yellow lanyards and “Minister of Reconciliation” tags, team members will be available during worship and business sessions seated under “MoR Observer” signs, as well as in the exhibit hall and at other Conference venues through each day and into evenings. Conferencegoers will be able to contact the team at the On Earth Peace booth in the exhibit hall, at the Conference Office, and by phone.
The MoR Team’s primary role will be to listen, facilitate communication, and help navigate misunderstandings. They will be trained to respond appropriately in the event anyone is feeling or being threatened, or being harmed in any way (verbally, emotionally, or physically); to be a peaceful presence in tense situations; to mediate conflict; and to help make sense of the proceedings.
“Wherever two or three are gathered, conflict and tensions are inevitable–even healthy,” said Leslie Frye, MoR program director. “It’s also inevitable that we need the help of our sisters and brothers to respond faithfully. Working with the various aspects of the Annual Conference Ministers of Reconciliation Team last year in St. Louis was one of the most deeply profound faith experiences of my life and I look forward to the privilege of continuing this important ministry in Charlotte.”
The Ministry of Reconciliation Team offers a three-way approach to creating safe space for faithfulness at Annual Conference. It begins with setting the tone by collaborating with leadership teams throughout the denomination and providing written resources to be considered before and during Conference. While at Conference, the team functions in a deacon role, providing pastoral care for individuals when the majority of ordained and lay leadership is busy with the needs of the larger group. In an emergency, the team is trained to play a role much like Christian Peacemaker Teams, standing in the way of violent words and repressive actions.
Members of the MoR Team commit to participating in a training/team-building event before Conference and two conference calls in the month prior to Annual Conference. For more information, contact the Conference Office at 847-429-4364 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Ministry of Reconciliation program director Leslie Frye at email@example.com or 620-755-3940.