Archive for September, 2010

(1) Spend some time each day quietly reflecting on how we would like to relate to ourselves and others.

(2) Remember that all human beings have the same needs.

(3) Check our intention to see if we are as interested in others getting their needs met as our own.

(4) When asking someone to do something, check first to see if we are making a request or a demand.

(5) Instead of saying what we DON’T want someone to do, say what we DO want the person to do.

(6) Instead of saying what we want someone to BE, say what action we’d like the person to take that we hope will help the person be that way.

(7) Before agreeing or disagreeing with anyone’s opinions, try to tune in to what the person is feeling and needing.

(8) Instead of saying “No,” say what need of ours prevents us from saying “Yes.”

(9) If we are feeling upset, think about what need of ours is not being met, and what we could do to meet it, instead of thinking about what’s wrong with others or ourselves.

(10) Instead of praising someone who did something we like, express our gratitude by telling the person what need of ours that action met.


(This list is directly quoted from the web page for the Center for Nonviolent Communication.  The Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC) would like there to be a critical mass of people using Nonviolent Communication language so all people will get their needs met and resolve their conflicts peacefully. They write:  “[original copyright] 2001, revised 2004 Gary Baran & CNVC. The right to freely duplicate this document is hereby granted.” )


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The annual Peacemaking Offering is just around the corner, scheduled for October 3, 2010! 

Trinity’s Peacemaking Committee receives 25% of the funds from this offering.   How will any funds received by Trinity Peacemakers be used?  This year, the Peacemaking Committee hopes to use the funds received from the Peacemaking Offering to build healthier local congregations by training leaders in skills that apply to conflict resolution within their own,  local church. 

As the divisive and attacking nature of public discourse in our society reveals,  skills in healthy dialogue and conflict resolution are lacking in much of our society.  The church has suffered from this, as well.  The Trinity Presbytery Peacemaking Committee has chosen as its focus to help church congregations develop skill in healthy ways of resolving conflict.

Specifically, a workshop is being planned which will train church leaders in techniques of talking and listening which enable communication of negative ideas and feelings in ways which are not experienced as threatening, blaming, or attacking.   The specific techniques of communication, called Compassionate Communication, will open new and better channels to authentic dialogue and problem solving.  

The building of skill in conflict resolution and compassionate communication will help individual members of Trinity Presbytery’s churches at every level:   Marriages will be stronger as spouses apply skills to resolving disagreements.  Families will be stronger as parents and children apply these skills.  Churches will be stronger as church Sessions and leadership improve the ways conflict is resolved in the church. 

A unified church at peace with itself is a stronger church.  Churches which have strong ability to unify their leadership and membership will be enabled to have a more effective witness, no matter what goals and priorities that church sets for itself. 

In the Spring, if budget allows, the Peacemaking Committee hopes to bring a weekend speaker to conduct a workshop that will train church leaders in healthy ways of listening and communicating disagreement.   If funding permits, a more extensive workshop could be offered in the fall.  

So please, support your church’s Peacemaking Offering!  We are depending on you for your support to make this happen! 

What can be done now, to promote the Peacemaking Offering?  As recommended by the General Assembly Mission Council: 

The Peacemaking Offering benefits the church at every level.  Twenty five percent stays with the local congregation, to be used for any peacemaking initiative the congregation chooses.  Twenty five percent goes to the Presbytery (in Trinity, to this Committee) for Presbytery level activities.  And Fifty percent goes to the national Peacemaking Program of the Presbyterian Church (USA). 

Guaranteed, your funds, and your efforts, are going to a worthy cause! 

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A previous blog post announced the Forest Acres Green Festival, which will be held 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. on Saturday, September 26, 2010.  This festival, sponsored by three churches on North Trenholm Road, Forest Acres, SC, will showcase environmentally friendly and sustainable practices, will feature the beginnings of a Habitat House, and will have booths by vendors of green products.    There will also be childrens’ activities and opportunities for recycling things such as car tires.   For a detailed schedule, click HERE

Guess what – volunteers are needed!  If you are available for a one to three hour volunteer shift, please send email to TrinityPeacemakers@gmail.com  Include your phone number, and we will get you involved and included in this wonderful activity filled with interesting and concerned people! 

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Register Online for the Webinar with Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons on the 219th General Assembly (2010)

Please join us for the Presbyterian Office of Public Witness (OPW) Webinar in Washington, DC:

What: OPW/GA Update on 219th General Assembly (2010) Overtures
When: Thursday, September 16, 2010, 11 a.m. — 12:30 p.m.
Where: At your computer!
Featured Guest: Rev. Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

– Direction and Focus of the PC(USA) Office of Public Witness in Washington, DC
     – Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II, Director of Public Witness, PC(USA)
– Overview and Legislative Outlook for new Domestic General Assembly Resolutions
     – Leslie Woods, Representative for Domestic Poverty and Environmental Issues
– Overview and Legislative Outlook for new International General Assembly Resolutions
     – Catherine Gordon, Representative for International Issues
Register for the webinar
1. After registering, you will receive information about how to connect to the webinar next Thursday.
2. You will be connected to audio using your computer’s microphone and speakers (VoIP). A headset is recommended.
Or, you may select "Use Telephone" after joining the Webinar.
Dial 916-233-3088
Access Code: 388-823-900
Audio PIN: Shown after joining the meeting
Webinar ID: 510-177-986
Web Events and Online Meetings Made Easy(TM) article text
General Assembly Guidance:
Find actions of the 219th General Assembly (2010)

(This blog entry is a re-post of a blog entry originally published by Mark Koenig on the web page of the Peacemaking Program of the Presbyterian Church (USA), click HERE for the original link. )

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The University of South Carolina will continue its emphasis on civil discourse this fall with an undergraduate course featuring a public lecture series.

Taught by philosophy professor Dr. Christopher Tollefsen, the University 201 class, “Civility in the Public Sphere,” addresses the notion of civility in public conversation on issues such as healthcare and immigration reform to debates over war, abortion and the proper role of government in Americans’ personal lives.

All lectures will take place at 7 p.m. and are free. The intent of the series is to offer thought-provoking lectures that encourage the community to think about the importance of, and problems with, civil discourse and how these problems can be resolved.

The schedule is as follows

  • Sept. 13 – “Democracy as a Moral Ideal,” featuring Dr. Vincent Colapietro, professor of philosophy from Penn State University. School of Law auditorium.
  • Sept. 22– “Civility and Deliberative Democracy,” featuring Dr. Ed Munn, associate dean of the South Carolina Honors College. Gressette Room, Harper College.
  • Sept. 27 – “Debating Civility: Democratic Public Discourse in Ancient Athens,” featuring Dr. Jill Frank, USC associate professor of political science. Gressette Room, Harper College.
  • Oct. 7 – “Civility in the University,” featuring Dr. Cary Nelson, president of the American Association of University Professors and Jubilee Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois. School of Law auditorium.
  • Oct. 11 – “Science and Religion in Dialogue,” featuring Dr. Dan Buxhoeveden, director of USC’s Religion and Science Initiative. Gressette Room, Harper College.
  • Oct. 18 – “Race, Civility and Public Discourse,” featuring Dr. Eddie Glaude, professor of religion and African American studies at Princeton Univresity. School of Law auditorium.
  • Nov. 3 – “Church, State and Public Discourse,” featuring Dr. Steven Smith, Warren Distinguished Professor at the University of San Diego. School of Law auditorium.
  • Nov. 17 – “Educating for Civic Empowerment,”featuring Dr. Meira Levinson, assistant professor of education at Harvard University. School of Law auditorium.
  • Nov. 22 – “The Responsibility of Public Journalism,” featuring Charles Bierbauer, dean of USC’s College of Mass Communication and Information Studies. Gressette Room, Harper College.

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Come watch the start of a Habitat House, visit with organizations devoted to sustainability, and sample goods of many local vendors!

Saturday, September 25 10:00 – 4:00

Keep the Midlands Beautiful and six congregations in the North Trenholm Road area are collaborating on a project that encourages sustainable living and building practices. Beth Shalom Synagogue, Bethel United Methodist, Forest Lake Presbyterian, North Trenholm Baptist, St. Michael and All Angels’ Episcopal, and Tree of Life Congregation are planning the Forest Acres Green Festival on Saturday, September 25. The festival will be held from 10:00-4:00 at the three locations listed below:

Forest Lake Presbyterian Church, 6500 North Trenholm Rd.

· Central SC Habitat for Humanity will construct an EarthCraft certified house in the parking lot, using energy-saving materials and appliances.

· Vendors who sell environmentally friendly building supplies will exhibit.

· Environmental organizations will share their expertise about sustainable living.

· Jewelry and crafts will be available for purchase.

· Musical groups from local schools will perform.

· Forest Acres restaurants will be selling food and giving away coupons.

· A silent auction will benefit the Habitat house.

North Trenholm Baptist Church, 6515 North Trenholm Rd.

· Craft activities for children using materials from nature and recycled materials

· Fun on inflatables–bungee runs, bounce houses, etc.

· Kid friendly food and free coupons available from Forest Acres restaurants

St. Michael and All Angels’ Episcopal Church, 6408 Bridgewod Rd. at North Trenholm Rd.

· Recycling of tires (4 per person), electronic equipment (TV’s, computers, monitors, radios, etc), cardboard, cans (no paint), plastic, glass, scrap metal, and any size plug-in appliances by Richland County Solid Waste Division

· Education for youth (in the outdoor chapel) about recycling

· Paper shredding on spot

On Sunday, September 26, there will be a local farmers’ market at Forest Lake Presbyterian, 6500 N. Trenholm Rd., sponsored by Tree of Life from 12:30 – 4:00. Work will continue on the Habitat house.

habitat image

(Image from Central Habitat SC Web site)

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