GC7131I absolutely hate conflict. If a conversation starts to get heated, then there is something inside of me that instinctively just starts to hunt out the fastest escape route.

But no matter if you hate fighting, or love to stir the pot and get a good argument going, it seems that conflict is something that none of us know how to do particularly well. So we thought that this would be the perfect topic for the discussions at our most recent Grace Collective event.

GC7132 Our theme for the night was Fight, and we were privileged to have Glen Ashworth (who is currently studying at St John’s), Rachel Peeters (Church of the Saviour, Blockhouse Bay) and Harry Newton (also at St John’s) on the couch.

GC7137They helped us take a fresh look at dealing with conflict, what not to do and also what to do – through looking at an example of Jesus dealing with conflict. Our key passage was Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well (John 4:1-42) and Harry took us through the touchy points in the passage, and the political and cultural background that lay behind the tensions between the Jews and the Samaritans. We reflected on our own recent situations of conflict, and the factors that had potentially contributed to it. Rachel then challenged us about the way in which we approach conflict, by looking at the way Jesus interacted with the woman. Finally Glen gave us some great practical tools in good conflict resolution.

Have a think about who you know that handles conflict well. What approaches do they use? What is your goal in a conversation over a tricky issue? What is your hope?

GC7136We hosted the event at Crave again, which I have already raved about here so I probably don’t need to go on anymore about what an awesome cafe it is. (I recently discovered that my friend Emma of Mr Bigglesworthy came up with the concept for their interior, so my love for this space just totally makes sense. She is one very stylish lady).

GC71312GC71313 We have some very talented bakers in the Grace Collective, and I have to say that Kate’s Chilli Chocolate Cookies were amazing. The fudge slice also went down really well, and we’ll be sharing that recipe with you soon!

GC71310GC71311GC71315The set up of an event is always fun – I love transforming a space into somewhere that is unique, visually appealing, cosy and inviting. Having a five-piece band meant we had to move a fair bit of furniture around, and we are thankful for everyone who lent a hand!

GC7135Our musicians Matt Baker (from St Chad’s) and the Inbetween (from Church of the Good Shepherd, Massey) were fabulous… unfortunately we didn’t get a photo of them performing, but their gear sure looks pretty under that lamp! GC7139GC7138GC7133 GC7134 This was such a great night – quality conversations, beautiful music, great food and coffee, and fabulous people. And the exciting thing is that we get to do it all again soon! So looking forward to it. See you there! Charlie

Photography by Kate Wanless (Holy Trinity, Devonport)


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