January 23, 2017

Connecting the Biblical Narrative and Restorative Practices

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Dear Friends,

Today, we had the opportunity to meet our Dominican (COCREF) colleagues and catch up on the past year.  We began the day in a large circle where they reintroduced themselves and told stories of Restorative Practice implementation.  It is planned that these stories will make up a testimony of beginning practice.

Our devotion this morning was based on 2 Corinthians5:18-21.  

"All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

We focused in on the verse where God has committed to us the message of reconciliation.  In restorative practice, the idea is to reconnect people...to bring reconciliation and healing where there is brokenness.  Restorative practice is a way of being and a clear set of protocols that creates safe space for dialogue, discussion and responsibility.  God created human beings for connection..."it is not good for man to be alone" says Scripture.  We are made for community and for each other and if our relationships are strained or broken, we need ways to reconnect, tell our stories, take responsibility and voice our needs.  Restorative practices seem easy to understand and at some level they are simple and sensible....however to practice them....is not as simple as it seems.  Taking responsibility and truly listening are both hard work.  Many people have a very difficult time doing either.  

Teaching students whether they are in Canada, the USA or in the Dominican Republic, compassion, humility, empathy and care is key to the development of Christian character.  Restorative practices give people a way to create an institutional culture where all members know that "this is the way we do things here".  RP is also a beautiful way to develop character and resilience.  When we can admit our mistakes and take responsibility for the hurt or harm that we may do (intentionally or not).....community grows and flourishes.

God, through Jesus Christ, reconciles us to himself....as His ambassadors, we are called to bring the good news of gospel and bring His message of reconciliation to our world.

We continue to look forward to another day of hope, connection and learning!

God be praised.

 

This blog was written by Walking Together Learning Leader Diane Stronks who is serving and learning together with Anne Martin by facilitating a project in the Dominican Republic called Circle Training: A Transformative & Restorative Approach to Listening/Learning.

Comments:

Alice
Jan 24, 2017 at 8:48 am

It's so good to hear about reconnection between you all as colleagues. We're praying that God will guide each of you as you learn together and encourage each other - so that teachers and students will flourish and God will be glorified in lives and relationships!

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