With October comes a new season of webinars from the Yeshua Catholic International Leadership Institute. Two are already scheduled, and more are on the way.

In addition, the Institute also offers recorded access to many earlier webinars it has already produced.

The new webinars scheduled for October are:

“We’ll be announcing more webinars for November and December soon,” says Dr. Owen Phelps, Director of the Yeshua Institute. “Watch future issues of The Catholic Leader for other programs as we schedule them.”

Forgiving others

“Many of us struggle with one or both sides of the forgiveness equation – either forgiving or accepting forgiveness. I know I have,” Phelps says.

“In the Lord’s Prayer we ask God to ‘forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,’ and I’ve always thought it would be nice to get a better deal than that – you know, having God forgive us way more than we are able to forgive others.

“But that petition really came home to roost for me when I was laying on a surgical table, having a heart attack and receiving an angioplasty. I didn’t know if I would make it. If I didn’t, I figured I would be much better off if I had finally forgiven a man who had laid off my wife from her CFO position. Even then, it was a struggle,” Phelps explains.

Accepting forgiveness

As for accepting forgiveness, Phelps recalls a cherished grandfather who was never able to accept forgiveness for having failed to get a net to help his grandson land a large walleye on his 13th birthday. “I could tell if he had a little too much to drink because he would bring up that incident and express his lasting sorrow with tear-filled eyes,” Phelps recalls.

“I forgave him the night it happened and many, many times after that. I can’t tell you how many times I have wished that he could have accepted my forgiveness and stopped torturing himself for what was really a minor thing.”

How to apologize

Apologies are another challenge we all face – some more than others, Phelps says. They can be especially difficult for people who have “knower personalities,” people who tend to think they are the brightest or most worthy person in the room.

“People who have built their self-esteem on always being right or being superior have trouble admitting they are wrong and apologizing for it because that amounts to a denial of their self-worth,” Phelps explains.

“It’s a huge step – and not a few people stumble in the face of it.”

Phelps says it’s easier to acknowledge our mistakes and sincerely apologize for them when our self-esteem is rooted in God’s unconditional love for us. “When we’re assured that God loves us no matter what wrong we have done, it’s a lot easier to step up and admit our shortcomings,” he explains.

It’s also a lot easier to properly deliver an apology, one that is likely to have a healing effect even if the person who has been wronged is not ready to forgive us immediately, Phelps adds.

“It’s an important topic because we all make mistakes, we all come up short, and without apologies and forgiveness, relationships can never be healed. We’ll discuss it all in greater detail during our Oct. 17 webinar,” he says.

To register for the webinar on apologies and forgiveness, click here.

Building Parish Teams

On Tuesday, Oct. 22, the Yeshua Institute will focus on the vital tasks of building effective parish teams in a free webinar scheduled for 1 p.m. Central time.

“Dynamic teams are the secret sauce of transformational parishes,” Phelps explains. “No pastor or parish administrator can do it all – especially in the face of so many cultural challenges and so many dismal trend lines church congregations face today.”

Phelps will summarize the points he outlined in a featured article in The Priest magazine in June of this year. Topics will include:

  • 8 ways to build trust;
  • Effective listening;
  • Dealing with “power-distance” issues;
  • Three team-building tools; and
  • Setting realistic goals.

“Parishes that thrive in the face of so much adversity today are led by dynamic teams, and dynamic teams don’t generally happen by accident,” Phelps says. “So here’s a chance to look at how your parish can foster better, more effective teamwork among staff, councils and voluneers.”

To register for the Oct. 22 webinar, click here.