What is Dialogue for Peaceful Change?
DPC is a four-and-a-half-day training in conflict transformation and change management that comes out of the Corrymeela community in Northern Ireland. We spend the first two-and-a-half days in intense experiential learning–locating conflict and understanding the biological and cultural factors that shape our engagement with both conflict and change. Models help us understand why change processes might fail, and what can help them succeed. Tools offer us the opportunity to map conflicts and explore the issues and dynamics that keep them going. For the remainder of the training we role-play a six-stage mediation process. While this process is one that we may wind up using only rarely in its entirety, the role-play allows us to play with and ‘try on’ the material that we’ve learned. It also equips us to utilize a meditative process in those situations where it may be warranted.
After every training, participants (now from Baltimore, National Capital, and New Castle Presbyteries) are invited to join our ongoing Community of Practice, which meets every 3rd Thursday (alternately 9am or 4pm) on zoom. Within the CoP we refresh our memories on the models and tools, and we share case studies from our contexts. The CoP is also a place where participants can bring questions or conundrums they may be facing–and the group will brainstorm alongside them. Additionally, past participants can call on their colleagues or trainers to work with them on particular issues.
Can I be trained?
Yes! Any active leader or member in the presbytery (not just Pastors and Elders) can go through DPC. Our next training is scheduled for January 29th through February 2nd, 2024, likely at Bon Secours Retreat Center. There will also be one the week of April 15th, 2024 (location TBD). We request that those who are able contribute at least $250 to offset the cost. For more information, contact Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can this benefit me if I don’t want to be trained?
One of the benefits of the DPC model is that, with every training, we expand our pool of DPC Facilitators. These are individuals who have been equipped to engage with change and transform conflict. If you or your congregation is experiencing either and would like a partner in discerning a healthy way forward, the DPC Facilitators can provide this. DPC Facilitators can also investigate situations of conflict and evaluate if they are a good fit for mediation. For more information, contact Jennifer at the address above.