Facing Feelings in Faith Communities is based on a simple premise: We have emotions because we need them. God created us as affectively competent beings, William Kondrath argues, to help us understand our world and to give appropriate signals to people around us about what we are experiencing. When we express our feelings clearly, other people can more easily respond in ways that are helpful to us, thus enhancing our relationships and the work we might do together. Kondrath also recognizes that unfortunately, for many of us, our emotional software was infected early on with viruses (early familial and social conditioning) that distorted the way we responded to natural stimuli. Because we are underusing or misusing our emotional capacities, we are missing out on the opportunity to express our full humanity.
Fortunately, we can re-program our emotional software. Facing Feelings in Faith Communities help us restore our emotional systems to their original state, or at least invites us to imagine how we would live differently if our emotional expressions were more nearly congruent with the situations and events we encounter. Kondrath invites us to explore six feelings--fear, anger, sadness, peace, power, and joy--through poetry, meditation on an evocative drawing, as well as through his own analysis of each feeling.
Congregational Resources for Facing Feelings is a companion collection to this book. For more information, click here.