Closing the gap retreat
Our world is rapidly fragmenting. It seems that nothing can bring us together across the great chasms that divide and separate us. There is a way to bridge these chasms and it begins with small groups of people gathering, listening, and learning together in hope. Participants in this event will gain tools and resources for individual and collective reconciliation, healing, wholeness and community transformation.
You will walk away empowered, ready to impact your community or ministry with tools for making deeper connections with others, creating greater opportunities for reconciliation, and joining others working to close the growing gaps in our polarized society.
This training is unlike others in that it combines the concepts and skills found in restorative justice and the field of traditional mediation. There will also be many opportunities to put the skills into practice as we work together to hone this craft and sharpen our skills.
We also work on training up our minds for the rigorous work ahead. The apostle Paul understood the challenges associated with this type of work and he admonished us to “be transformed by the renewing of your minds.” The methods, activities, and concepts are combined and presented in a format designed for mental and spiritual growth, and social engagement.
Cheryl Miller works with organizations and communities to develop effective approaches to poverty alleviate and reconciliation. Cheryl has also authored the Language of Shalom, a book on the principles of restorative justice, reconciliation, and community development. She is a Credentialed Advanced Mediator and has facilitated victim/offender mediations for 17 years for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. She served on the board of directors as Vice-Chair for the Christian Community Development Association.
What to expect
Closing the Gap is a three-day journey taking participants into a deeper understanding of peacemaking, reconciliation, healing, and wholeness. Upon completion, participants will receive a certificate as a Circle Facilitator. The content of this retreat combines the 2-day course of Transformative Dialogue and the 2-day course of Deeper Dialogue into an intensive three-day retreat. More information about both are on the Courses page. Participants will experience in-depth learning, practical application with ample time to practice, as well as, personal time of contemplative prayer are reflective walking.
Topics covered will include:
Restorative justice & Basic mediation tools
Interpersonal communication skills
Managing significant conflict and difficult conversations
Understanding trauma and its impact in communication
Transformation by the renewing of our minds through contemplative prayer and nature-based activities
Activities will include:
Role plays to practice concepts and skills learned
Interactive activities putting skills to use
Participants will facilitate circles
Personal and interactive practices of reflection, responding, and resting.