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Conference members begin dissecting ‘Anatomy of Peace’


Before having a heart at peace, it’s important to understand what it means to have a heart at war – so began Rev. Dr. Brian Brown’s three-part workshop and discussion on “Anatomy of Peace.”

Brown’s first session Thursday morning focused on behavior and mindset. Changing a person’s mindset helps to change behavior.
The two mindsets up for discussion were an inward (inside the box) and outward (outside the box) mindset. How do we turn from an inward mindset – a heart at war – to an outward mindset – a heart at peace, Brown asked?

Bishop Elaine Stanovsky invited Brown to be the guest speaker at Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference as the United Methodist Church is divided over the issue of human sexuality. Approaching these difficult discussions from a place of love and peace is critical to finding unity amid divisiveness and the book “Anatomy of Peace” from the Arbinger Institute has been a guiding resource on this issue.

Brown, an ordained elder from the Virginia Conference originally, is trained through the International Coaching Federation and is a trained facilitator for the Arbinger Institute in “Anatomy of Peace.”

“God will open up new opportunities when we work together,” he said.

But it isn’t just Brown speaking while laity and clergy listened. After each of his presentations, the 375 people in attendance are breaking out into small group discussions – labeled Table Talks 2.0 – to ask questions of themselves and listen with curiosity and grace to each other’s responses.

Thursday morning’s small group questions revolved around acknowledging our own inward mindsets.

Clay DeForge, a member from the Wesley Center at the University of Oregon, said he finds these small group discussions helpful.

“I see it as an opportunity to start to augment what we have heard and listened to in our hearts,” he said. “It encourages us to think in a forward-moving direction.”

Brown will lead two more discussions on Friday.