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12th Conference Table

Church Confrontation, Conflict and Crisis.

Dear Florida Conference United Methodists,
The Florida United Methodist Conference Task Team on Conflict in the Congregation wants to extend the scope of the Conference Table on Congregational Conflict to allow those who are not physically present to have real-time input into the discussions of those who are physically present at the event.  To make that happen, the remote participants will be invited by the moderators to disuses the topics as presented to the on-site participants in their own locations.  These discussions can be among pastor, staff, lay leadership, and others who are able to come together in individual locations for this web-cast.  The results of these remote discussions can then be provided to the moderators if so desired.
The remote participants are offered the opportunity for their experiences and opinions to be gathered via the on-line Congregational Conflict Survey.  Click here for survey.

The information gathered here will be confidential, with only numbers being added to identify each response.  These responses are being tallied on a real-time basis and reported live to the Conference table moderators.  The moderators will share the remote participants responses with the on-site participants and the other web-cast viewers.  This survey will also be valuable to this Task Team as we seek ways to help our churches seek healthy and Christ-honoring ways to deal with conflict.
More detailed feedback and participation is available to remote participants by sending e-mail to which will be received by the Conference Table moderators in a real-time basis.  These comments can then be shared with the entire Conference Table, as they seem appropriate.
We hope this way of extending the Conference Table to include all those interested, regardless of where you are physically, is helpful to you and your congregations.  Our goal is to give voice to all who need to be heard on this sensitive topic, and to work towards solutions that build up the Body of Christ.

The 12th Conference Table will be video webcast live, click here.

Conflict is powerful. It can traumatize and divide a church or bring strength and unity.

But what is healthy versus unhealthy conflict? How do churches in the Florida Conference handle conflict and crisis? Is more education and training needed? Can the conference offer additional resources and new strategies for managing conflict? Would specially trained intervention teams be helpful to local churches, or should the conference consider hiring professional assistance to manage conflicts and crisis in the local church?

These are the issues that will be addressed at the next Conference Table Wednesday, Feb 1, 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. at Hyde Park United Methodist Church in Tampa.

A panel of clergy and lay professionals will obtain input from Conference Table participants, with the goal of gaining a new perspective on the local church's effectiveness in successfully managing conflict and the role of the conference in helping churches meet that challenge.

The first step will be to define and identify the issues and then measure the intensity of the issues on a conference-wide basis. Emphasis will be on the listening process: where does it hurt and why? The panel will then identify possible next steps to initiate the healing process in a congregation and encourage healthy resolution of the conflict. The panel will also address the key communication processes needed to successfully manage conflict and ways to normalize conflict resolution. The information gathered from Conference Table participants will be essential to the panel discussion, and small group discussions will include such topics as building community, consensus making, behavioral covenants and active listening skills.

The following people are on the task force planning this event: Bert Blomquist, Anne Burkholder,  Paul Butler, Ted Crass, Wayne Curry, Beth Fogle-Miller, Pam Hall, Bill Larrison and Lynn Monaco.

Upcoming Conference Table tackles conflict resolution e-Review Jan. 6, 2006

The 12th Conference Table will be video webcast live, click here.

Conference tabel registration is now closed. You can register at the door but lunch can no longer be reserved.

For more information contact Pam Garrison at or 800-282-8011, extension 148.