Continuing Indaba project has involved people from different dioceses worldwide visiting each other to learn about life and mission in the other contexts as a precursor to conversations about the similarities and differences they have encountered. A range of theological papers were developed as outcome of these meetings by Anglicans and Episcopalian theologians from Tanzania to India, Kenya to Canada.
Continuing Indaba offers two types of resources: theological reflections on conflict transformation from around the world and process guides to enable anyone to implement reconciliation programmes and events in their church and community.
Easily accessible short essays from around the Communion that enable you to understand the principles involved in conflict transformation. They were developed in a series of Indaba conferences or “Resource Hubs” bringing together Anglican/Episcopalian theologians from a region to discuss conflict transformation in Scripture and their cultural traditions.
Creating Space is collection of papers compiled for the pilot phase of Continuing Indaba.
Continuing Indaba guides help you design a programme or an event to deepen relationships and engage in hard conversations on the most significant or difficult issues facing you and your community. They were developed from the theology of Indaba and tested by Anglicans around the world in four “Pilot Conversations.” These step by step guides help you understand the mechanics of what is required for your programme to be successful.
Indaba begins with developing relationships. People are asked to discover one another’s context through conversations over meals, participating in worship in one another’s churches and exploring the Scriptures together. Participants honestly explore difference and disagreement, not seeking to change each others’ opinions. They commit to listen to one another, to pray and study Scripture and to participate in God’s mission together and are open to changing perceptions and a deeper commitment to Christ.
Conferences often feature guest speakers accompanied by small groups meeting for discussion. Conversations may continue through meals and in social contexts – such as evening drinks. It is often the times for discussion and networking that are most valuable. While an Indaba based conference places mutual listening and relationship building to the fore. The relationships between the delegates are the greatest priority and they are the deepest resource.
Good governance is an essential part of the life of all our churches and that can come in many forms. Governance structures often reflect the cultural practices of democracy in different contexts and many follow a form of ‘parliamentary’ systems based upon enlightenment principles of debate and majority voting. They tend to favour those in power and not to hear the voices of all. On matters of significance they tend to create two sides, where a multiplicity of opinions may be more appropriate. An American observer to process in a Diocesan Synod in the Sudan was amazed that some significant decisions were made by a process of engaged conversation – an ‘Indaba’ – rather than speeches for and against. Continuing Indaba may be used in Deanery Synods, Diocesan Conventions, General Synods, and other governance structures.
As a pilot project, Continuing Indaba has been truly experimental in searching for fresh, possible ways forward in affirming authentic equality across the globe, leaving behind alternatives that have privileged those from Western societies and cultures, historically associated with colonial power. This is perhaps its greatest gift as well as its greatest challenge. For those in western society who have been racially and culturally dominant, Indaba represented a stiff challenge to setting aside traditional patterns of discourse and relationship, in order to authentically seek to listen and learn from others whose context and experience was so different from their own. (Indaba Pilot Phase evaluation team)