by Elizabeth Hunter
Angela Shannon, a pastor at King of Glory Lutheran Church in Dallas, Texas, will share “The Heart of the Matter,” a three-session Bible study on learning to deal with conflict through the ministry of reconciliation. The study begins in June in Gather magazine.
“Repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation are healing words,” Shannon writes. “We hear these words spoken from our pulpits, in our hymns and various places throughout our churches. Yet we see conflict in our society and the ways in which we harm each other. We are about to enter an election year where the politics are as shrill and mean as ever.”
Although we look to the church for a safe haven from conflict, Shannon says, “life follows us through the doors, and there, too, we find conflict.”
“Conflicts are nothing new to the church,” she writes. “What’s miraculous is that God continues to create us anew. God insists on entrusting us with the ministry of reconciliation.”
She continues: “In working with congregations, I have found that although people are familiar with the healing words of Christ’s church, we must continue to learn the practical application of these words.”
The Heart of the Matter
Session 1: Treasure in clay jars. “But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7)
Session 2: Seeking God. “When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:14)
Session 3: The ministry of reconciliation. “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)
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Elizabeth Hunter is editor of Gather magazine.