A Faith-based Community Action Workshop

Reconciliation and Social Justice Community Action

by Lance Echo-Hawk, MA
EchoHawk Counseling (www.ehcounseling.com)

Healing Our Community Relationships

Purpose: to empower the faith community for social action and for change, a community united around the concept of restorative justice. The reconciliation process group (rpg) format (see the "Workshop Format" below) will provide the structure for the workshop. While changing the world one person at a time cannot be undervalued, the faith community as a whole is looking for ways to have impact on the unmet needs of human suffering. This workshop, Reconciliation and Social Justice Community Action, is intended to develop unity at the community and local church level by exploring and addressing common roadblocks and barriers to effective action. Suggested topics might include (but not limited to) the biblical concept of justice, spiritual formation (for sustainability), processing the wounds of injustice, identifying personal fears that interfere with taking action steps, and concrete, attainable goal-setting for ongoing ministries.

          Punitive/retributive justice verses restorative/transformative justice
          Developing an understanding of the concept of biblical justice
          Reconciliation, the doorway to social justice
          Recognizing justice by personal and social peace

Skill building:
          Contemplative/meditative prayer practices
          Spiritual formation and emotional maturity
          Communication and community building

          Using the rpg model for structure, emotional safety, and support
          Using rpg to support the process of becoming an agent for change
          Experiential, designed to support one another

          Identifying personal and collective goals
          Linking with a community
          Sustainability, creating ongoing support and encouragement

Why Focus on Social Justice?

Biblical justice perhaps can be best understood in relational terms. We as human beings were meant for a different kind of world--one where relationships are intact; including our relationships with God, ourselves, others, and the world around us. Normalizing unjust, unhealthy relationships results in desensitization to injustice. We focus on social justice because social injustice compels us to examine all our relationships, and because it is so compelling to envision a more just world of peaceful relationships.

Workshop Format

A reconciliation process group (rpg) is based on a model that was developed to treat social trauma (such as historical trauma) in a recovery center setting. The rpg model (follow this link to flow chart of rpg program) provides the structure for this workshop. The core principles of rpg are truth telling and listening, grieving (as a roadmap to healing) and internal reintegration, and forgiveness in balance with unity through reconciliation. These are some of the core elements people have used in our world today to address the wounds caused by current social traumas and oppression. Rpg makes the claim that the human healing process is a natural and God-given process that has recognizable key points along the pathway to healing. This program is intended to teach these rpg elements of healing over an 8-to-10 week period and to lay a foundation for ongoing community action.

Multigenerational Wounds from Social Injustices

This workshop is designed to address the wounds of societal injustice in a respectful and constructive way. Healing and changing social wounds often means dealing with genrational emotional pain that is interfering with our lives. The dialogue we need in our communities often breaks down before effective action can happen because of unresolved social and personal wounds. The roadblocks to change can be highly emotionally charged. In this proposal the facilitator will lead the workshop to maintain the structure, emotional safety, and focus of the workshop so we can reach our goals. (Although deep issues may get stirred up the facilitator will not function as a counselor but as a workshop leader.)

Fees For Service

EchoHawk Counseling fees for rpg workshop services are $15 per hour per person. The sessions in this proposal are 2 hours, or $30 per each member for each session attended. For 1 person at $30 each session, x 8 sessions spread over 8 weeks = $240; as a workshop estimate per person. (Workshop lengths can vary from 8-to-12 weeks.)

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