For summer 2016, Angela Shannon, a pastor at King of Glory Lutheran Church in Dallas, Texas, shared “The heart of the matter,” a three-session Bible study on learning to deal with conflict through the ministry of reconciliation.

“Repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation are healing words,” Angela Shannon writes. “We hear these words spoken from our pulpits, in our hymns and various places throughout our churches. Yet we see conflict in our society and the ways in which we harm each other. We are about to enter an election year where the politics are as shrill and mean as ever.”

Although we look to the church for a safe haven from conflict, Shannon says, “life follows us through the doors, and there too we find conflict.”

“Conflicts are nothing new to the church,” Shannon says. “What’s miraculous is that God continues to create us anew. God insists on entrusting us with the ministry of reconciliation.”

She continues: “In working with congregations, I have found that although people are familiar with the healing words of Christ’s church, we must continue to learn the practical application of these words.”

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