Peace Circles Update

Congratulations and thank you to Evelyn Johnson and Mary Clare Bietila, who have completed their training as Circlekeepers with the Youth Institute via Precious BloodMinisterial group. Additionally, Kristin Faust is planning to participate in an upcoming training session in Spring, 2022.

We are grateful to our 1st U Board President Marge Gonwa, Vice President Amos Biggers, the 1st U Board of Trustees, and our Treasurer Linn O’Rear for their support of the training of new Circlekeepers. We would also like to thank Michael Knowles for his administrative support, and for the declared support of Rev. Don Cameron, our Interim Minister. 

A Brief History: In 2019, Rev. Jason Lydon (then Sabbatical Minister) introduced Peace Circles, a Restorative Justice model emphasizing healing and learning through a collective group process. The Peace Circles were well received, and many members participated in one of three Circles established at 1st U. Five people were trained as Circlekeepers in November of 2019: Jim Proctor, Anita Orlikoff, Barbara Randolph, Rev. David Schwartz, and Rev. Monica Kling-Garcia. Cory Muldoon joined our 1st U team due to his experience facilitating Peace Circles in other settings. Thank you to Cory, Jim, Anita, Barbara, David and Monica for your pioneering work with Peace Circles at 1st U, and also for adapting the format to an online experience during phases of the pandemic. 

Moving forward: Our 1st U Circlekeepers will plan for Peace Circle sessions for our congregation. As in the past, we will have a “practice” session with all available Peace Circle facilitators prior to the beginning of a formal set of announced dates. We will also discuss potential themes for future sessions. Watch for information about dates and access! For more information, contact Barbara Randolph at brandolph@colum.edu