Guidelines for Civility
in The United Methodist Church
From In Search of Unity
- Respect the personhood of others, while engaging their ideas.
- Carefully represent the views of those with whom we are in disagreement.
- Be careful in defining terms, avoiding needless use of inflammatory words.
- Be careful in the use of generalizations; where appropriate offer specific evidence.
- Seek to understand the experiences out of which others have arrived at their views. Hear the stories of others, as we share our own.
- Exercise care that expressions of personal offense at the differing opinion of others not be used as means of inhibiting dialogue.
- Be a patient listener before formulating responses.
- Be open to change in your own position and patient with the process of change in the thinking and behavior of others.
- Make use of facilitators and mediators where communication can be served by it.
- Always remember that people are defined, ultimately, by their relationship with God; not by the flaws we discover or think we discover in their views and actions.
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