Building a Culture of Peace
Peace and Reconciliation Team
Conscious Connection Practices
It is the intention of Unity of Santa Barbara to build a culture of peace, which arises out of our mission of “inspiring people to realize and express their Divine nature,” and reflects our vision and values. Consistent with this intention, the Board of UoSB has adopted a new Sacred Service Ministry called the Peace and Reconciliation Team (P&R).
What is the "Peace and Reconciliation Team"?
Comprised of a group of members committed to facilitating a path of reconciliation by providing conscious connection practices. This team would be available to intercede and provide support in the case of conflicted interpersonal relationships, including those individuals who possess significant disagreement and/or opposition to the ministry, its leadership or internally between staff board or key leaders.
This team is led and trained by Rev Denese Schellink and Joan Judson.
Rev Denese is a Certified Transitional Consultant for Unity Worldwide Ministries (UWM) and has trained and worked extensively with Nonviolent Communication and The Q Process.
Joan Judson is a certified and trained coach in Mediate Your Life based on Marshall Rosenberg's work. She also works with the County of San Luis Obispo's legal mediation support programs.
Who serves on this team?
The Team consists of two professional facilitators and select members of UoSB who have gone through the P&R training process.
Facilitators: Rev Denese Schellink and Joan Judson
UoSB members (Current as of 10/1/18): Joan Kershaw, Sarah Linares, Julie Freeman
How do I best use the services of this team?
If you find yourself struggling with a difficult situation within the ministry and would like help navigating your way through it, please call the church office to ask for support. Unity of Santa Barbara is committed to supporting your spiritual growth and wellbeing and offers supportive practices that allow for greater self-awareness, understanding and the ways in which we can offer more compassion to ourselves and others.
What practices or methods does this team use?
This team is trained in Empathy and Compassion through classes based on Marshall Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communications (NVC) work as well as The Q Process facilitated by Rev Denese Schellink. To find out more about NVC visit its website https://www.cnvc.org/about/what-is-nvc.html The Q Process go to: http://theqeffect.com/
What can I expect during my first session?
Once you call the church office to ask for support, someone from the P&R Team will contact you within 2 business days to ask you some questions and make an appointment for you to meet with the team.
The first session is simply an exploration session with you and this team. It is a space for listening, and to connect with you by asking questions such as: What happened in this situation? What happened inside you? And what request you would like to make?
What it is not: It is not about determining who is wrong or right. There is no analyzing, no evidence gathering, no counseling, and no conflict management. This is a simple process that allows for your experience to be shared with members and/or leaders, so you can better understand how it affected you, how it might have affected others, and lead you to heart insight, and your next right step.
Are there other services offered by this Team?
Yes. There is a deeper coaching and facilitation process for individuals and groups seeking mediation and for those seeking reconciliation. Once the first level (Level 1) inquiry has been completed, then a request for Level 2 & 3 can be made. (See Level descriptions that follow)
Once you have gone through the Peace and Reconciliation Process, if you are seeking more guidance and direction, you could make an appointment with the Minister to share your experience and insights to further your spiritual growth.
Levels of Support:
Step One: DEEP LISTENING/ Zoom Call with P & R Team
In order to gain more understanding about what happened in your experience, we provide a compassionate team of individuals who will listen and give empathy and reflect back to you what happened and how it affected you. This beginning process offers a safe and friendly environment to share your story and just see what was missing for you, and what was needed in order for you to be able to see the situation more clearly. Everyone begins at Level 1.
Step Two: DEEP LISTENING/ In person, Feeling & Needs Table process
Listening beyond the words, without judgment, and with an open heart. Learning Empathy for Self and Empathy for others. For many people, this process might be enough to bring one into a greater awareness of the difficulty and how one responded and also awareness of how it was for another. With this awareness comes natural compassion and understanding for self and others. This may be all that is needed for a shift in awareness and for peace to return.
Level 2: Greater Understanding and Awareness
We can use some of the practices that we embrace and embody in this ministry to assist each other with greater awareness of what happened in us and who we became during the experience. This involves looking at our own shadow beliefs and noticing how those beliefs caused our own internal disconnect from our Divine selves. This process is recommended for graduates of the Q Process. If you want to take the Q Process course, please contact the office.
Level 3: Reconciliation
Group Mediation Process: When we find ourselves working on teams or committees, we can experience times when we have difficulty with what happened within the whole group. It is beneficial to express ourselves together and to hear how the situation was interpreted by our friends and colleagues.
This is recommended for those who have a willingness to hear from others about their experience and are willing to be changed by what they hear. The process requires a deep spiritual and emotional maturity.
Level 4: Hiring outside professional Mediators
There are professionals that could further support this process, and it would be the financial responsibility of the member to cover these costs.