Saturday, April 30, 2016

St. Philip's Guidelines for Constructive Communication

These guidelines are meant to serve as a basis for comment and conduct and they are intended to facilitate constructive communications. They are derived from the Anglican Diocese of Montreal's Safe Church Policy and Email Etiquette they are deliberately brief and not meant to be legalistic.

These guidelines are a function of discussions within the corporation. They have been reviewed at the January 2016 advisory board and suggested revisions have been incorporated into the current text. The guidelines were passed almost unanimously at the February 2016 Vestry.


St. Philip's Guidelines for Constructive Communication

These guidelines apply to all people at St. Philip's, no matter what status, ministry, office, context of work, or position, be it volunteer, paid, lay or ordained.

In our role as a faith community, St. Philip's Church acknowledges the God-given value, worth and dignity of every person regardless of race, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation. We are dedicated to establishing and preserving an atmosphere in which our members, volunteers, staff and those who use our facilities, can work and worship together in an environment that is free from all forms of harassment, exploitation, intimidation or discrimination.

Through our baptism as Christians, we have committed our lives to following the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. In this commitment we have willingly and knowingly entered into a “Covenant Relationship”, the values of which are contained within these guidelines. Adherence to this covenant is seen and understood as a necessary and vital component of each of our lives as members of St. Philip's church.

1. We will be inclusive, listen and try to hear what others are saying, and seek to understand their point of view, needs and concerns.

2. We will be polite, diplomatic, tactful and respectful at all times.

3. We will not deliberately offend or insult others. When offering criticism, we will chose our words carefully, (speak the truth in love). We will be thoughtful when expressing strong feelings and try not to speak in anger. If we have strong views, we will strive to be soft on people and hard on the issues (it’s not what we say it’s how we say it).

4. We will avoid language, tone or volume that could be perceived as inappropriate, threatening or abusive. This includes comment that alienates, harms, degrades, or dominates others or that prevents a person from fully, safely, freely and joyfully participating in the regular learning, fellowship, worship and prayer of the church.

5. We will protect those who are vulnerable, including people who are uncomfortable with passionate exchanges. We will be mindful of and attempt to view issues from others’ point-of-view, but will not attempt to speak for or on behalf of others, except that we may attribute statements to third parties with their permission.

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