Meet Nancy & Dan Nicewonger
Lead Facilitator & Spiritual Formation Catalyst
The A Place in the Conversation Story
Daniel serves as the Executive Director and Spiritual Formation Catalyst
Nancy serves as the Lead Facilitator with a focus on peacemaking and serving caregivers
The formation of A Place in the Conversation (APITC) is a natural progression in Nancy Nicewonger’s journey dealing with the issue of conflict resolution and Pastor Dan Nicewonger’s focus on Spiritual Formation. A Place in the Conversation is the perfect convergence of those two paths as the focus of restored and transformed relationships is essential to both.
Nancy’s interest in conflict resolution was birthed in her time as an elementary school teacher. Nancy believed it was possible to empower children to deal with conflict in a way that values the individual and respects the community (classroom). She designed a unique approach to addressing conflict in the classroom, training children to relate with each other in a healthy manner and deal with the issues themselves rather than “run crying to the teacher.”
Nancy found that with a few short weeks of conflict resolution training, she no longer had to serve as a mediator of conflicts but could function in the role she loved, teacher and educator. The process empowered the children and herself to “live life to the full” and get the most out of their educational endeavors. This experience sparked an interest in the field. It led to her pursuing and receiving a Master’s degree in conflict resolution from UNC Greensboro.
Dan’s journey away from the institutional programs and plans of church life toward a focus on spiritual formation began during his time at Memorial Baptist Church in Cortland, NY. He came to understand the invitation to live as a follower of Jesus and experience “life to the full” had less to do with planning and programs and more to do with “being” and relationships. Dan began to focus on ideas such as listening prayer, discernment, and seeking to find where God is at work and joining in that work.
One of Dan’s greatest joys in life is facilitating collaboration. Dan routinely seeks to gather groups of people “around a table,” creating space for them to share and work together. We have repeatedly witnessed amazing things grow out of partnerships where individuals are heard, valued, and allowed to contribute toward a goal.
The combination of their journeys led to helping pastors and congregational leaders move away from a program or business model of ministry. Instead, Dan and Nancy seek to demonstrate and invite others to a model of life and ministry focused on discerning the leading, guiding, and directing of the Spirit for their lives, both individually and corporately.
In late 2013 Dan and Nancy began talking about the breadth of experiences and the passions for ministry that united them.
The vision for A Place in the Conversation was birthed out of these conversations.
A Place in the Conversation is focused on helping facilitate the restoration of relationship that leads to transformation.