Restoring Relations: Reconciling Ourselves to God and One Another

Wednesday, Nov 18, 2020, 8:00 PM GMT, zoom -

An internet search for ‘reconciliation,’ gives the definition that reconciliation is “the restoration of friendly relations.” Our broken world and deep division on any number of issues suggests this definition only names one element of what true reconciliation entails.

For those in the United States, the recent election has exacerbated a years’ long fraying of the social compact. Harsh rhetoric, dismissive attitudes, and a lack of listening have resulted in misunderstanding and fragmentation across society – with some folks literally at each other’s throats.

Throughout the world, COVID-19 has exposed deep divisions based not only on the actual economic and health impacts, but also among people of goodwill on all sides around the perceived threat of the Coronavirus and the impact of measures taken to mitigate the virus spread. Add these elements to an already fractured populace and nations around the world find their citizenry divided and quickly working to unmake the social contract.

Do we stand aside and watch this happen? Or, do we act in ways consistent with our Baptismal Covenant? As Christians, our faith calls us to be agents of reconciliation - as hard as that might be given deep-seated and stridently held convictions. How do we act on this call?

Join our panel for a candid discussion of what it means to be agents of reconciliation and how we go about this work. While answers are often elusive, our panel will explore avenues allowing us to restore civil discourse and engagement… and then move into the work of deep listening, understanding, and compromise.

Panelists include:

  • Steve Lawler - Founding Director, The Walker Leadership Institute at Eden Theological Seminary; St. Louis, Missouri (moderator)
  • Alastair McKay - Executive Director, Reconciliation Initiatives; Founder, Bridge Builders (UK); Coventry, United Kingdom
  • Chuck Robertson - Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Ministry Beyond the Episcopal Church; New York, New York
  • Lia Dong Shimada - Mediator and Community Practitioner; Senior Researcher for the Susanna Wesley Foundation at the University of Roehampton; London, United Kingdom
  • Josh Thomas - Executive Director, Kids4Peace; Washington, D.C.
  • Xolani Diwati - Dean , St Mary's Cathedral; Johannesburg, South Africa