Reconciliation

“Forgiving and being reconciled to our enemies or our loved ones are not about pretending that things are other than they are. It is not about patting one another on the back and turning a blind eye to the wrong. True reconciliation exposes the awfulness, the abuse, the hurt, the truth. It could even sometimes make things worse. It is a risky undertaking but in the end it is worthwhile, because in the end only an honest confrontation with reality can bring real healing. Superficial reconciliation can bring only superficial healing.”  Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Reconciliation is about our relationships - with God and with each other. It involves people, communities and nations learning to live together with deeply-held differences – in a spirit of love and respect.

It is to work for justice and seek truth in the light of God’s mercy and peace. For Christians this is not optional: it’s the very heart of the gospel. As we are reconciled in Jesus we now share this gift of God with each other and the whole human family.

Reconciliation transforms how we live with the inevitable conflict life brings, while itself bringing us into conflict with all that excludes and diminishes people and communities. On the journey of reconciliation enemies become friends and hope replaces despair.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby believes that reconciliation is the hallmark of Anglicanism. Anglican Communion currently has two initiatives promoting people's engagement with reconciliation: Continuing Indaba and Living Reconciliation.

We hope Living Reconciliation book and Bible study guide will inspire you to take up the challenge to transform the conflicts in the way of Jesus Christ. It is a huge challenge so Continuing Indaba offers you a practical guide for programmes to make reconciliation real in your church and community.

Continuing Indaba – Anglicans becoming reconciling agents

The Revd Canon Stephen Fields speaks with Anglicans from Hong Kong during the Continuing Indaba Encounter in Toronto. From left to right: Shari Kung, Amos Poon Ching Hang, Kevin She and Dean Samson Fan of All Saints' Cathedral in Hong Kong.
The Revd Canon Stephen Fields speaks with Anglicans from Hong Kong during the Continuing Indaba Encounter in Toronto. From left to right: Shari Kung, Amos Poon Ching Hang, Kevin She and Dean Samson Fan of All Saints' Cathedral in Hong Kong.
Photo Credit: Diocese of Toronto/Michael Hudson.

Indaba is a process of honest conversation that seeks to build community, energize mission, and provide a context in which conflict can be transformed. Indaba is a Zulu (an ethnic group of southern Africa) word describing a journey of slow discussion on controversial matters with the aim of furthering community life, not just solving an issue. Such processes are common throughout Africa, Asia, the Pacific islands and the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams illustrates: “people get together to sort out the problems that affect them all, where everyone has a voice and where there is an attempt to find a common mind or a common story that everyone is able to tell when they go away from it.”

Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makoba commended Indaba to the Anglican Communion in the belief that an African way of handling conflict could bring about reconciliation.  He asked the Communion to ensure that Continuing Indaba initiative was guided by Scripture and developed from its Zulu roots to ensure it is relevant in all parts of the world. Continuing Indaba has enabled churches across the Communion to intensify their relationships, and engage in genuine conversation across deep difference that has resulted in new energy for mission.

The aim of Continuing Indaba is to enable Anglicans worldwide to live reconciliation by facing our own conflicts, celebrate our diversity and difference, and so become agents of God’s reconciling mission in the world. Parishes, dioceses and provinces using Continuing Indaba report deeper energy in mission, commitment to service and justice as well as church growth.

The pilot project resulted in process guides for anyone wanting to undertake an Indaba in their own context, and formed the foundation of the Living Reconciliation book and study guide.

MORE INDABA RESOURCES

Living Reconciliation – genuine conversation in a world of sharp disagreements

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Published in 2014, Living Reconciliation book draws upon stories from across the Anglican Communion and especially from five years of Continuing Indaba initiatives. The book is being actively read by individuals and studied by groups around the Communion. The Archbishop of Canterbury describes it as “an excellent book” that removes our excuses for avoiding the hard journey towards reconciliation. It is a “beautifully” written book, highly readable yet not lightweight and weaves together stories of those who travelled with Jesus and stories of present-day Christians.

Commended by Archbishop Desmond Tutu “as a tool and encouragement in living your life of reconciliation” the book is supported by eight week Bible Study guide and videos.

The Living Reconciliation website includes

Chapter 1 Living Reconciliation

Chapter 2 Journey into uncertainty

Chapter 3 Companions

Chapter 4 Encounter with power

Chapter 5 Transforming Conflict

Chapter 6 Risk

Chapter 7 New way of being

Chapter 8 Sharing the vision

They range from stories of parishes where conflict has been transformed enabling people to engage in mission, to the globally significant events such as the story of Bishop Dinis Singulane who negotiated peace agreements in Mozambique.

Join the journey though Twitter and Facebook using #LiveReconcile hashtag and tell us your story of living in the way of Jesus Christ; the great reconciler.

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