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“Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.” So began a brief talk by Dr. Owen Phelps at the first Benefactors Mass & Brunch for the Yeshua Catholic International Leadership Institute on Saturday, Aug. 10, at St. James Parish in Rockford, IL. His words echoed those of Dick Kunnert, a Yeshua board member, Senior Fellow and Master Facilitator who served as master of ceremonies at the brunch. Before the brunch Father Dave Beauvais, also a Yeshua board member, served as celebrant and homilist at the Mass. In addition to leading prayers for all of the Institute’s benefactors, he took the occasion to thank t...

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(Lord) when did we see you … in prison, and visit you? (Matt 25:39) Maybe it’s hard to picture a county jail as God’s vineyard. But a team of Lead Like Jesus Facilitators in Rockford, IL, will tell you that’s exactly what it is – and that it inevitably yields a rich bounty for the Lord. They should know. For the last nine years, they’ve been regularly facilitating Lead Like Jesus Encounters for Winnebago County Jail inmates. In all, they have led 86 Encounters that have reached more than 1500 incarcerated men. The team uses ecumenical materials from Lead Like Jesus, but the ...

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Whenever people interact, some conflict is inevitable. We can’t avoid it. In fact, trying to avoid all conflict can be a trap that impedes the development of healthy organizations – including parishes. When handled well, conflict can actually become an opportunity for greater parish growth and health. Thus, leaders need to see each conflict as an opportunity for improvement. It helps them to realize that there are two kinds of conflict -- task conflict and relationship conflict. Relationship conflict is the toxic version. But interestingly, it often arises because we don’t adequately address t...

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One of our friends and advocates, Father Mike Mendl, SDB, recently referred us to a concise article about three leadership styles: Dictator; Best friend; and, Ghost. The first two styles are self-explanatory. To learn more about the third, you’ll have to read the article – which we highly recommend. The author quickly outlines the pros and cons of each leadership style, giving the reader a handy guide to navigate each of the styles. Of course, it’s important to remember that these three styles of leadership don’t begin to cover the options a leader has in relating to his or her ...

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The Yeshua Institute’s first Benefactors Mass & Brunch, scheduled Saturday, Aug. 10, at St. James Parish in Rockford, IL, will feature Javis Mugagga, our Catholic Vision for Leading Like Jesus Master Facilitator from Uganda. Mugagga oversees Encounters and special programs for seminarians, high school and college students, and married couples. Most of the programs are in Kampala, but his outreach to seminarians covers all the archdioceses and dioceses in Uganda. Father David Beauvais, a member of the Yeshua Institute Board of Directors and a Master Facilitator, will be celebrant at the Mass, which begins at...

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‘Offering advice is a sign of good leadership, and asking for advice is a sign of intelligence. If the exchange goes well, both parties benefit.’ By Owen Phelps, Ph.D. Director, Yeshua Institute By now we should all know that how we do things is at least as important as what we are doing. In fact, sometimes the how is more important than the what. That’s the case, according to Harvard researcher, when it comes to asking for advice – and giving it. Asking “Can I pick your brain?” is not the best way to get the process started. “The whole interaction is a subtle ...

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There are two kinds of change: technical and adaptive. As a rule, the former is easy and the latter is complex and difficult. But adaptive change is the kind of change we need in our parishes today. And it’s also the kind of change Pope Francis is constantly calling us to. Dr. Dan Ebener discusses the complex realities of leading adaptive change in parishes and how to foster the virtues that permit us to guide our parishes in stormy seas in the fifth of a series of eight webinars offered free by the Yeshua Catholic International Leadership Institute. In the series, Dr. Dan Ebener focuses on the insights o...

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As the nation – indeed, the world – celebrates the 50th anniversary of a “small step for man, a giant leap for mankind,” Yeshua Facilitator David Coe shares the story of another kind of small step that turned out to be a great leap both for a single man and for many of his neighbors. The story of John, is the story of a man who decided to let the Spirit lead him and found his life turned wonderfully upside down. John was an ordinary middle class guy, happily employed and reasonably secure. But then one day he was reading a history of the early church and he felt uncomfortable that he wasn&rsqu...

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Every parish is a manifestation of the Body of Christ – which is to say it is a living, breathing, organic and interdependent reality that requires the development of interactive communications skills throughout the body. These skills include facilitation, listening and dialogue. Fostering these vital interactive skills starts with those in ministry and administrative posts, who model the behaviors that build up the parish body so that it is a source of inspiration, guidance and engagement for parish members. In the fourth of an 8-part free webinar series, Dr. Dan Ebener focuses on the insights of his newest...

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By Owen Phelps Director, Yeshua Institute I heard the words again Sunday in Verona, WI. One of my granddaughters, Nicole, was giving a graduation speech before an audience of several thousand. It was quite an honor because she had been chosen for this task by her classmates. If she was nervous I couldn’t tell. Her voice was strong and expressive. Soon enough I heard some very, very familiar words. They were absolutely unexpected ... and brought a tear to my eye. Her words took me back to a night many decades ago when I was a young father back home visiting my parents and siblings for the holidays. As was ...

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