When a community experiences a fracture in its communal life, what tools can be used to foster reconciliation? How can right relationship be restored when there is conflict in the Body of Christ? In Beyond Accompaniment, William Nordenbrock proposes the use of a process that is based in the theory of Appreciative Inquiry as a ministerial method to guide a community from brokenness to communion. His practical application of this process in his work with St. Agatha Catholic Church in Chicago—a community whose pastor had been accused and convicted of sexually abusing minors in the parish—will be beneficial for communities experiencing conflict of any kind.
Nordenbrock helps us focus on the positive aspects of our communities in order to discover that "our redemption and reconciliation with God, won for us by Christ, is inseparable from the reconciliation and communion that Christians are to live with one another."
William A. Nordenbrock, CPPS, is an ordained member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. He is on staff at the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation in Chicago (pbmr.org). Nordenbrock has served his congregation in a number of administrative roles and is currently a member of their General Council.
Beyond Accompaniment offers a solid combination of sound theology, a good grasp of the principles of conflict transformation, and a strong vision of renewed community that will serve as a model for parishes and other organizations trying to work their way beyond past wounds to a revitalized communion. The clear, step-by-step presentation William Nordenbrock provides can help guide troubled and conflicted communities to a deeper appreciation of their own hidden gifts and to an imaginative re-visioning of their future. Highly recommended for any parish or church organization wanting to move themselves forward in greater faithfulness and discipleship.
Robert Schreiter Author of The Ministry of Reconciliation
Thorough, precise, well researched . . . the elegance of the simplicity of his writing style just jumps off the pages. . . . [Nordenbrock's] concise explanation of [Appreciative Inquiry] and his masterful implementation of it is textbook perfect in my opinion. In truth anyone trying to understand and then use [this] process would do well to immerse her/himself in Beyond Accompaniment.
Ralph Bonaccorsi Office of Conciliation Chicago, Illinois