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Video Review: Choices: on the way to peace

Choices: on the way to peace is a three session video driven small group study on issues related to forgiveness and reconciliation.

Choice: on the way to peaceBy John Steward and David Fullerton. 2006.

Using experiences gained through healing workshops in Rwanda, Choices: on the way to peace offers a structured venue for discussing issues of harm, forgiveness and reconciliation in terms of both Biblical teachings and real life experience. Each session contains introduction to the subject by a narrator, video and stories from Rwanda highlighting the issues under discussion and ideas for small group activities and discussion.

Session one is titled ‘Finding a response to pain.’ It discusses four common responses to pain: denial, revenge, forgiveness, reconciliation. The different aspects of each are discussed such as the usefulness of denial as a survival mechanism. Yet, this same survival strategy if used long term can carry detrimental affects and lead to more violence. The video instruction points to both forgiveness and reconciliation as healing mechanisms allowing people to escape the emotionally and physically harmful effects of denial and revenge.

Session two, “The underside of forgiveness,” recognizes that forgiveness is not easy and is more of a process than an event. Those suffering harm have to deal not only with the harm they have received but elements in life that can hinder them from pursuing forgiveness such as cultural norms around the expression of emotion.

Session three, “Forgiveness for life”, outlines some of the teachings of Jesus on forgiveness and rebuilding relationships. It delves into the practical implementation of the forgiveness and reconciliation process including healthy confrontation and dialogue.

Each session contains pauses for the introduction of group work and discussion. The DVD contains three downloadable handouts for to be used in the small group discussions. Choices: on the way to peace is available from for A$25.00. The website also contains sample video clips, the downloads, and other resources related to Rwanda.

Lynette Parker
March 2008

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