Finding CAlm in the

midst of controversy


A Retreat for Clergy with Rev. John Bell

Register for Finding Calm in the Midst of Controversy Retreat

Registration ends Friday, March 27

After submitting your registration, please click the yellow "Donate" button at the top of this page to pay the $80 registration fee or mail a check to our address below.

If you would like to spend the night at New Morning on Monday (3/30) or Tuesday (3/31) for an additional $70, please call Jenny at 224-218-0058 to coordinate.

When: Tuesday, March 31, 2020 • 9am to 4pm


Cost: $80 (includes morning coffee, lunch, and course materials)


John Bell, M.Div. is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church where he has served for 25 years and is a faculty member for the Center for Family Consultation. He has been teaching and applying the principles of Bowen Family System Theory for more than 18 years. John finished a three-year post-graduate program in Bowen Family Systems Theory and Its Applications at the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family at the Georgetown Family Center in Washington, DC.

In addition to his work in his local church, John’s effort to understand BFST continues through research, writing, blogging, teaching, and coaching individuals, families and congregations. John is married with three children and is currently serving Wesley United Methodist Church in Aurora, IL.

About the day

Do you feel guarded in what you say to your congregation? Are you afraid of what might happen if you preached on your views of human sexuality? For many clergy, the answer is: "Yes." Why? Because the congregation is either divided theologically or a majority of people in the congregation have a theology that is different from their pastors. A pastor once confided, “This congregation would drop dead if they knew exactly what I think.” Your congregation might not drop dead, but the fear of conflict and polarization is real.


This retreat will look at the practical ways clergy can articulate a position on controversial issues like human sexuality without creating polarization or a schism in the local church. We will explore how to articulate a clear position that can lead to greater collaboration and cooperation within a congregation.


Participants will have an opportunity to learn the conceptual ideas behind this way of thinking. In addition, there will be time to develop a strategy for implementation. All of this will happen at the wonderful New Morning Retreat Center.

44W906 Berner Rd
Hampshire, Illinois 60140

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