Local churches can encounter unresolved conflicts, stagnant church practices, grief and anxiety as well as a plethora of ghosts of hidden “secrets.” These “ghosts” may unexpectedly appear as we probe the system, hold up the mirror of self-reflection or ask difficult questions. Because they cause discomfort, church members can scapegoat others or “act out” in inappropriate behavior. Further, because churches are often welcoming places and conflict avoidant, difficult people or those with personality disorders can raise havoc in the congregation. This workshop explores ways to enter the emotional system while avoiding becoming a target of the anxiety. Through visual presentations, small group discussions, and case studies participants will learn skills to be a compassionate, non-anxious presence in tense situations and have a grid for understanding people with certain personality disorders that tend to be attracted to our churches.
About the leader(s)
Rev. Dr. Norman Gendroth is a trained Transitional Ministry Specialist and a member of the Interim Ministry Network faculty. Ordained in the United Church of Christ, Dr. Bendroth has served non-profit agencies, settled churches and ten interim pastorates. Norman is a Board Certified Coach and Church Consultant. He is the editor of Transitional Ministry Today: Successful Strategies for Pastor's and Churches. (Rowman and Littlefield,2014). His website Wicked Awesome Church Consulting can be found at church-consultants.org
Leslie Ann Chatfield holds an M. Div. and is ordained in the United Church of Christ. She holds an MS in Special Education and holds current state certifications and endorsements. She has completed all but her dissertation towards a PhD in Existential Psychology. In addition, she served for over a decade as a licensed social worker as part of a multi-systemic therapy team with families and adolescents who are identified to be ‘at risk.’ Leslie has been working in a variety of combinations of education and ministry for thirty years as a professional and as a consultant. Throughout her career the reflection on the existential meaning of one’s path and story has become central to her professional contributions.