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Speaking the Truth with Love: Nonviolent Communication

Allan RohlfsAn Invitation to and Presentation for Clergy

Speaking the Truth with Love:
Nonviolent Communication.


Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a way to confront another whose behavior is objectionable or offensive with 100% honesty yet free of any blame, judgment, or criticism, thereby eliciting understanding from the “offender” rather than defensiveness. My article on NVC was featured as the cover article in the November 14, 2012 issue of Christian Century entitled “How (and how not to) handle conflict.”

All ordained clergy are invited to attend this event which is for clergy only.

Clergy have virtually no formal training in how to confront offensive behavior, how to enact St Paul’s instruction to “return to no one evil for evil”, or Jesus’s “judge not” and “love your enemies”. Clergy generally when faced with offensive behavior don’t know how to respond other than silently suffer and endure. NVC identifies four critical elements of one’s experience to identify and present to the other, all of which are free of blame and judgment and also completely honest.

Allan Rohlfs, adjunct faculty at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and a certified trainer is the presenter.

Date:  Thursday, February 27, 2014

Time:  9:30 am to 12:30 pm

Place: First Congregational Church of Glendale UCC, 2001 Canada Blvd, Glendale

Fee:   No fee.   Any additional training will also be free of charge.  Mr. Rohlfs wants to introduce NVC to as many clergy as possible.   Though without fee, a commitment to the entire three hours is required.  Please do not register unless your schedule is free for the entire three hours.

To register:  by mail–send name and contact information to Allan Rohlfs, 2826 Ashley Dr, Pasadena, CA 91107
Or by e-mail–send name and phone number(s) to allanrohlf@aol.com
Deadline for registration is Sunday, February 23.

For more information about NVC visit www.cnvc.org.

Also freely contact Mr. Rohlfs via e-mail or by phone at 773-474-0612

This introduction will include presentation of concepts and the specific communication behaviors of this model using many examples. Each participant will be invited to take a real life personal example upon which, through paper and pencil exercises, to apply the NVC steps.  Much discussion will follow.  This is a difficult model but also liberating.  Overwhelmingly participants find this engaging, lively and rewarding.  NVC presents a way to transform any judgment into a caring and compassonate response.

NVC was developed by a psychologist Marshall Rosenberg when he was mediating school desegregation disputes under a federal grant in the southern United States during the 1960s.  It was born out of bitter and deadly conflict and has now been taught by trainers in most of the hot spots throughout the world.  But it is entirely applicable to the offensive behaviors of family, friends, colleagues, parishioners, those of opposing beliefs religious or political, and others, regarding any disagreement, whether intense, deep seated or long lived or something seemingly minor, but nonetheless annoying.

About Allan Rohlfs:

Mr. Rohlfs, a certified trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication and one of its founding members, has taught NVC since 1974 to widely diverse audiences including management at all levels in industry, social action/justice groups, seminary students and faculty and not for profit organizations.  He’s served as adjunct faculty at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago for 20 years. Most recently he presented to HomeBoy Industries in LA, to Claremont’s Lincoln School of Theology and to Fuller Seminary.  He has practiced psychotherapy for 35 years.  But Mr. Rohlfs interest now is in introducing NVC to people of faith, especially to clergy to give them an additional tool for their ministry. 

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