Adapted with permission from the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center
We, the members of Unity Church in Albany, commit ourselves, to the best of our ability, to apply the principles of “Agreeing and Disagreeing in Love” to our church business, relationships and interactions. We ask for and welcome support from each other as we learn and grow in our abilities to apply these principles. Our desire is that our ministry will be a demonstration of how the application of spiritual principles can make a positive difference in an environment of diverse people and ideas.
Endeavoring to manifest spiritual unity, as both individual members and as a spiritual community, we agree that we shall agree and disagree in love.
- We commit to prayer: We examine where we are coming from and release our need to be right. We pray that Divine Spirit will move our discussion to the rightful conclusion.
- We welcome diverse points of view: We welcome into dialogue those who hold different positions than ours, knowing that diverse thoughts and opinions bring wholeness to our spiritual community.
- We go to the other: We go directly to those with whom we disagree; we avoid behind the back criticism. We go in gentleness, patience, and humility. We do not blame or accuse, or engage in dialogue that triangulates or involves indirect communications, hearsay, or rumors.
- We listen for understanding and clarity: We suspend judgements and don’t rush to conclusions. We listen to have full knowledge of the situation by first hearing the other person’s position, knowing that there is always common ground for understanding. We respond non-defensively, and let time and peace prevail.
- We hold clear boundaries: We hold what is ours and acknowledge what is the other’s. We respect each other’s boundaries and take responsibility for ourselves.
- We are willing to negotiate: We are open to negotiating a resolution, finding common understanding and a solution that satisfies both parties. If we are both agreeable, and it’s helpful, we may engage the assistance of an impartial third party to help us reach common ground.
- We hold that love prevails above all: We acknowledge the Christ in each other. Our primary focus is on an atmosphere of love and respect, acknowledging the worth and value of all.