You Can't Stop the River: Nonviolent Community Change
Efforts to improve the community - reduce violence - build peace - all too often dry up or get stopped along the way.
If you believe God yearns for more peace and less violence - and you want your congregation to have a spiritually powerful ministry for justice and peace, focused on real change in the community - Join us for You Can't Stop the River.
Why "You Can't Stop the River"
Many congregations are ready to take a next step in community outreach and leadership for justice and peace, but aren't sure what's next. What does proactive, hopeful action look like? Efforts to improve the community - reduce violence - build peace - all too often dry up or get stopped along the way.
• Build skills and confidence for community leadership
• Worship together and study scripture as a source of strength for community change
• Explore the history & philosophy of nonviolent community organizing and mobilization
• Reflect on the experience you bring and exchange stories and wisdom with others
• With God's help, prepare plans for what happens next in your community
Who Should Come?
Ideal participants are people ready to move into action when they get home. They come from groups that feel urgent about addressing violence and injustice with the innocence of doves and the cunning of serpents.
We recommend that you register with a team of 2-4 people from your faith or community group, or from the same neighborhood or community.
Teams are encouraged and will be formed if individuals wish to register without a team connection. During the training, teams will work together to apply and test what we are learning to their situations at home.
What we are aiming for: Many individuals attend training events only to arrive home with little support or accountability for implementing their new skills and ideas. We wish to raise the probability that the energy and information generated at the workshop will have a ripple effect in the community, yielding action for reducing violence.
What to expect
The weekend will be highly participatory. The seminar includes activities focused on getting rooted in your community, understanding the forces at play, building a sense of biblical/theological aspects of the work to reduce violence and increase peace, and examining change efforts in a strategic perspective (what kinds of things need to happen first - second - third; how to get others excited and involved, etc). Participants will examine what it takes to develop a specific, focused effort for nonviolent change, connecting what we learn to experiences back at home. Build on what you know, practice spirituality + skills + strategy, and take your community ministries to the next level!
A common frame of reference for community change will come from exploring the Principles and Steps for Kingian nonviolent community reconciliation used in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. Time will be provided to plan for proactive, hopeful action when you get home.
Our time will combine the practical and the prayerful. While together, we will practice prayer and other activities designed to help build spiritual power for change. As Christians, we are at our best when we are ourselves in powerful contact with God's healing, and can bring that power to our community work.
|Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Revelation 22|
For more information or to schedule a training, contact:
Matt Guynn - coordinator of peace witness
- Young Peacebuilders
- Social Change