“Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of creative
alternatives for responding to conflict.”
~ Dorothy Thompson
We believe that open conversation and dealing directly with conflict are essential for a healthy church. Toward that end, Restorative Circles™ are a method for responding to conflict between and among members of our church community.
Restorative Circles recognize three parties to any conflict:
- a person who did or said something that diminished another person,
- the person who was diminished by the act, and
- everyone else who was affected by the act, or can help craft a solution to the conflict
A Restorative Circle brings these three parties together for a structured, facilitated conversation where each person is able to speak and be truly heard by the others in the circle. With the understanding that has developed through this dialog, the participants co-create an action plan for how they would like to resolve the conflict as a community.
The facilitator creates and maintains the structure for the conversation by being multi-partial. Multi-partial means that the facilitator understands each person’s point of view and thus is on the side of every person in the Restorative Circle. Facilitators are members of the church community and have received extensive training in Restorative Circles philosophy and technique.
Members of the Concord UU Church community may request a Circle by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.