Behavioral covenant how we address conflict adopted by congregational vote january 30 2011
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Behavioral Covenant How We Address Conflict (adopted by congregational vote January 30, 2011). First Congregational United Church of Christ DeWitt, IA. Theological Underpinnings: Word & Sacrament.

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Behavioral Covenant How We Address Conflict (adopted by congregational vote January 30, 2011)

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Behavioral covenant how we address conflict adopted by congregational vote january 30 2011

Behavioral CovenantHow We Address Conflict(adopted by congregational vote January 30, 2011)

First Congregational

United Church of Christ

DeWitt, IA

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


Theological underpinnings word sacrament

Theological Underpinnings: Word & Sacrament

"...in Christ, God was reconciling the world to God's self, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.  So, we are ambassadors for Christ..."  (2 Corinthians 5: 19b-20a)

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


Sacrament of baptism

SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM

Religious practice is voluntary which makes acceptance & tolerance difficult. We live in a church world of “I can choose.” We must remember our baptism. Baptism means “I don’t get to choose who my brothers and sisters in Christ are.”

“In baptism, God works in us the power of forgiveness, the renewal of the Spirit, and the knowledge of the call to be God’s people always.”(Baptism liturgy, Book of Worship UCC, pg. 136)

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


Prayer of baptism a reminder

Prayer of Baptism (A Reminder)

O God, we praise you for calling us to faith and for gathering us into the church, the Body of Christ. … Together may we live in the Spirit, building one another up in love, sharing in the life and worship of the church, and serving the world for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen. (Book of Worship UCC, Affirmation of Baptism, pg. 165.)

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


Sacrament of communion

SACRAMENT OF COMMUNION

The church is not solely defined by its faith, worship or understanding of scripture alone. We are justified by grace.

“(Bless, O God) these gifts of bread and wine, and bless us…that we may be united with Christ and with one another…” (Communion liturgy, Book of Worship UCC, pg. 85.)

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


Communion prayer of thanksgiving

Communion Prayer of Thanksgiving

“We thank you, God, for inviting us to this table…. Strengthen our faith, increase our love for one another, and let us show forth your praise in our lives…. Amen.”

(Communion Liturgy, Book of Worship UCC, pg. 88)

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


Values statement

Values Statement

The well being of First Congregational United Church of Christ depends upon a sense of community and fellowship among its members, friends and staff. Community thrives in an atmosphere of trust, respect and cooperation. Addressing our disagreements while seeking resolution through compromise or consensus, can enhance our much desired sense of community.

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


Statement of need

Statement of Need

The church, as a voluntary organization, expects to occasionally have disagreements and experience conflict. Resolution of conflict can be difficult and sometimes is left unresolved because no process exists to facilitate compromise or consensus. Unresolved conflict minimizes the church’s desire for an ongoing sense of community and fellowship.

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


Goals and objectives

Goals and Objectives

  • Create processes for addressing conflict

  • Receive endorsement of the processes by congregational vote.

  • Implement a process when conflict between individuals or groups minimizes the church’s sense of community and fellowship

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


The covenant we share church by laws article i covenant para 3

The Covenant We Share (Church By-Laws, Article I – Covenant, para. 3)

“We agree to maintain the institution of the gospel, to submit ourselves to the orderly administration of the affairs of the church, and to walk together in brotherly love.”

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


The promises we make

The Promises We Make…

Our Promise to God:

We promise to pray, alone and together, to thank God for this church and to ask for God’s help to resolve our conflict.

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


Behavioral covenant how we address conflict adopted by congregational vote january 30 2011

Our Promises to One Another:

  • We promise to demonstrate our commitment to God and the church by our example.

  • We promise to honor the guidelines set forth by the congregation as the expected means to address our conflicts.

  • We promise to keep the best interests for our church as a whole, not what alone might be best for one person or small group in the church.

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


Behavioral covenant how we address conflict adopted by congregational vote january 30 2011

Our promises to the one(s) with whom we are in conflict:

  • We promise to address our conflict early.

  • We promise to respect one another.

  • We promise honest and direct communication.

  • We promise to listen actively with an open mind to the thoughts and ideas of others.

  • We promise to seek a common goal.

  • We promise to accept the direction of the church moderator to resolve our conflict when we are not able to do so ourselves.

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


Conflict defined

Conflict Defined

“Conflict is a form of competitive behavior between people or groups under circumstances in which two or more people compete over perceived or actual incompatible goals or resources.”

Moore, Christopher W. The Mediation Process: Practical Strategies for Resolving Conflict (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 1986).

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


Six categories of conflict

Six Categories of Conflict

  • Relational Conflicts

  • Identity Conflicts

  • Data Conflicts

  • Structural Conflicts

  • Values Conflicts

  • Interest Conflicts

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


Relational conflicts

Relational Conflicts

How we treat one another.

Highly emotional; touching people’s deepest feelings about themselves and others. Often mixed with other types of conflicts.

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


Identity conflicts

Identity Conflicts

People are left feeling attacked, belittled or ignored.

Dehumanizing of the other, often based on racial, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation or religious belief

One’s place in the organization gets challenged, seniority and power issues emerge…

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


Data conflicts

Data Conflicts

There is disagreement about information, its relevancy, procedures used to gather or analyze it.

e.g. When funding for a project or program is justified on certain data. Budget interpretation and relevancy is questioned.

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


Structural conflicts

Structural Conflicts

Conflicts about time (too little or too much) and/or organizational structure

Turf battles are often structural conflicts.

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


Values conflicts

Values Conflicts

When one group tries to force its belief or value on another

Core Values emerge. These are beliefs that give meaning to an individual or organization. They guide the decision making process.

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


Interest conflicts

Interest Conflicts

A common form of conflict over actual or perceived incompatible needs or desires. Most are resolvable and can lead to innovation and creativity.

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


Three stages of conflict and how we ll address them

Three Stages of Conflict and How We’ll Address Them…

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


Stage one conflict

Stage One Conflict

A high level of respect and trust still exists along with a willingness to work toward solutions. The conflict resolution process is limited to a few people or parties involved.

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


Behavioral covenant how we address conflict adopted by congregational vote january 30 2011

In Stage One Conflict, the parties agree to:

  • Talk directly to each other

  • Take a listening stance into the discussion

  • Use “I messages” that are clear and specific (I felt _____ when you ______ and it resulted in _______________.)

  • Talk it through and not avoid the big issue(s)

  • Identify mutually agreeable solutions (consensus or compromise)

  • Stay in touch (meet again one week later and repeat as often as deemed necessary)

  • Articulate the other person’s/group’s position

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


Stage two conflict

Stage Two Conflict

A “we-they” attitude is present. The conflict has escalated to where “camps” have formed and the church’s core values of fellowship and community are being compromised. The use of a neutral third party is necessary.

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


Behavioral covenant how we address conflict adopted by congregational vote january 30 2011

In Stage Two Conflict it is agreed that:

  • A neutral third party outlines the process.

  • One party explains the situation as they see it.

  • The other party explains the situation as they see it.

  • The parties agree on goals.

  • The parties explore and discuss all possible solutions.

  • The parties agree on what each will do to resolve the issue.

  • The parties will meet weekly for one month followed by quarterly meetings for one year to assure progress.

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


Stage three conflict

Stage Three Conflict

A “holy mission” has emerged to defeat or annihilate the other party. The conflict has escalated from “wanting to win” to “wanting to hurt” the other party. Core values of fellowship and community have plummeted and there may be talk of split in the church.

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


Behavioral covenant how we address conflict adopted by congregational vote january 30 2011

If conflict should reach this unfortunate stage, it is critical to bring in a highly skilled outside mediator. The Church Moderator will consult with the Eastern Iowa Associate Conference Minister for assistance.

Every attempt should be made to address conflict(s) early to try to prevent the divisiveness and enmity of a Stage Three Conflict!

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


Behavioral covenant how we address conflict adopted by congregational vote january 30 2011

Restating our promises to the one(s) with whom we are in conflict:

  • We promise to address our conflict early.

  • We promise to respect one another.

  • We promise honest and direct communication.

  • We promise to listen actively with an open mind to the thoughts and ideas of others.

  • We promise to seek a common goal.

  • We promise to accept the direction of the church moderator to resolve our conflict when we are not able to do so ourselves.

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


Documentation

Documentation

  • Each participant in the conflict resolution process will be asked to sign an “Agreement to Participate in a Conflict Resolution Process” that addresses roles, confidentiality and behavior.

  • A “Letter of Understanding” will be prepared when the means to resolving the conflict have been determined.

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


Philippians 2 3 4

Philippians 2:3-4

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.”

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


Sources

Sources

“Resolving Conflict in Nonprofit Organizations” by Marion Peters Angelica. Published by the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, 1999.

“Guidelines for Addressing Conflict” by Roger Williams, UW Extension, Madison, WI

“Conflict Management Policy for the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara” http://www.ussb.org/cmpolicy.html

“On the Unity and Diversity of the Church: Living in Unity in a Time of Divisiveness,” notes from a presentation by Dr. Rich Christiansen, Lakeland College, Oct. 25, 2005

First Congregational United Church of Christ, DeWitt, IA


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