top of page



Rev. Jim Burklo's collection of resources for memorials, vigils, graduations, etc. on campus:


A liturgy for peace in Israel, Gaza, and the world - from the United Methodist campus ministry network


7,000 Ways to Listen – Mark Nepo

Active Hope – Joanna Macy

Bridging the gap

Bridgebuilding often a difficult but rewarding process. We have to be willing to sit in tension with others and face opposing ideas. While the tension is largely unavoidable, there are skills we can cultivate and steps we can take to facilitate understanding and connect with each other better. 



1. Breathe. When you are initially faced with a frustrating statement, try using box breathing to calm down. In this way, you can give yourself more power to thoughtfully choose your response. Remember you can also leave the room and take a break if you need to. 

2.  Slow down & identify the data. Think about the data, think about how you feel, think about what you make of it, and think about how you want to respond. 

  • According to Viktor Frankl, our actions are at the top of a

        ladder of developed beliefs based on observable

        experiences, meanings, assumptions, and conclusions. 

        Think about what transpired and consider explanations

        outside of your assumptions!

3. Prepare your response. After you've considered the data, 

choose how you want to respond. Before you have the

conversation, it may be helpful to keep the Four I's framework

in mind:

  • Intention: Be clear about why you are giving feedback

        before you begin the conversation. 

  • Incident: Describe specific events (data) to convey what


  • Impact: Describe how action, non-actions, or behaviors

        affected you

  • Invent: Plan how to move forward together.

4. Other tips to keep in mind:

  • As your relationship with someone grows, there is more capacity to have a hard conversation.

  • You don't miss your chance to talk with someone - you can revisit a conflict after you've developed the relationship more. "Expiration dates" don't exist - it's never too late to talk!

  • Consider appropriateness: sometimes it's not on you to enforce the rules. 

  • When the conversation gets tough, keep doing the box breathing and try to stay in it for longer! 

  • Yours & mine: "But what about when you did ____!" If someone wants to bring up a separate incident than the one you are currently discussing, remember that taking turns is more effective! It is OK to tell them that you want to work through your incident with them first and get to theirs later. 


Now you're all set to start bridgebuilding! Have courage as you do the hard work to move towards a better, more peaceful future. 


The information in this section is based on Simon Greer's Bridging the Gap program. Further resources can be found here:

bottom of page