Archbishop Justin Welby has a vision for the church to be a reconciling presence in the midst of conflict. Over the last year, he has brought together leading thinkers on reconciliation to create a timely resource that is designed for Christians to explore what it means to follow Jesus in the face of human conflict and difference.
In a divided and fractured world, with growing political polarisation, community breakdown and personal conflict, many of us long for our faith to make a difference and to be a thriving and active presence in our communities and across our nations. But it can be hard to know where to begin when the issues around us and within us seem so complex and the hurts so deep.
Jesus himself came into a fractured world segregated by religion, gender, ethnicity, ability, politics, status and money. He forged relationships across those divides and built connections with unexpected people. God calls us to do the same: to recognise that reconciliation is in the DNA of the disciple, and to seek change by realising this in our own personal lives, communities and nations.
Archbishop Justin Welby has convened leading thinkers and peacemaking practitioners to create a course for churches to guide you as you reimagine together how to participate in this mission. The resource is a 5 session course called Difference which looks at how, in a messy and divided world, our faith can make a positive impact, exploring the values that form our God-given identity and the reconciling habits that help us model it in our everyday contexts.
Over 5 sessions, three reconciling habits are applied to five key relationships:
1. Between God and ourselves
2. With those we fear or distrust
3. Between those with whom we disagree or are in conflict
4. With those who have hurt us or we have hurt
5. Collectively; reimagining where we may go from here
The National reconciliation team are delivering training events across England to equip people to deliver the course.