Developed in the fall of 2016 by the vestry of St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church, in anticipation of undertaking a parish discernment process towards a possible capital campaign
As the vestry of St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church, we strive to:
Welcome one another even with our differences
Wonder together as we enter a new chapter in our life together
Abide with one another in patience, care, and mutual respect
We invite the people of St. Dunstan’s to join us in our intentions for handling differences and conflicts.
In a season when changes and new possibilities may stir up anxiety and heighten stress, we intend to:
Keep in mind the bigger picture and what we are trying to accomplish together.
Remember that God created diversity. Our differences of perspective, priority, and taste are a blessing and an opportunity to learn.
Listen and bring curiosity to the conversations ahead.
Welcome disagreements, remembering that our passion reflects the depth of our care for this church and its mission.
Stay faithful to the things we do that build our sense of community. Affirm what we share as a household of faith. Our connectedness helps us to honor each other’s concerns.
When disagreements arise, when visions or priorities differ, we strive to:
Practice and encourage direct communication.
Speak for ourselves, using “I” statements.
Kindly refuse to receive or carry anonymous or indirect feedback.
Do not broaden the conflict by bringing in other issues or situations.
Talk about the disagreement, not the person.
Clarify the needs and values, ours or others’, that seem threatened by the dispute.
Notice when we respond with judgment or defensiveness.
Respectfully take a break when needed.
Reflect on our reactions and understand our own biases and triggers.
Return to the conversation after taking time to think and pray.
Bring in facilitators, mediators, or advocates when needed.
Practice empathy and mutual respect.
Wonder what the other person is feeling, to encourage compassion in ourselves.
Try to understand where others are coming from.
Affirm someone’s worth even when we disagree.
Treat every person with patience, care, and respect, especially when we are angry.
Above all, as we begin a process of discerning changes and new directions, we want everyone to feel that their ideas have been heard and treated with respect.