Standard of Behavior:

  1. ‘Be respectful’
  2. In # III of the SCUUF Covenant, we agreed to add the word ‘respect.’
  3. Examples of respectful behavior:
    1. Address disagreements directly with the specific person(s) involved.
    2. No raised voices nor threatening gestures.
    3. Avoid hurtful and/or damaging language.
    4. Speak one at a time. No speaking over another while in conversation.
    5. Be open, direct, and honest about hurt feelings and disagreements.

Congregational Agreement:

  1. This fellowship is a place where its members agree to resolve conflicts.
  2. It is preferred that conflicts are resolved at the lowest level possible (e.g., the two individuals involved resolve the situation themselves).
  3. If conflicts cannot be resolved at the lowest level possible and threaten the wellbeing of the fellowship, those in conflict agree to enter into the SCUUF Process for Conflict Resolution.
  4. If the process for conflict resolution is unsuccessful, the Board of Directors shall resolve the conflict and said resolution is final.

Conflict Resolution Process – Flow Chart

Conflict between two people, one person and a group, or two groups that has escalated to the point where the health and wellbeing of the fellowship is affected, shall proceed to conflict resolution by way of the SCUUF Conflict Resolution Flow Chart. The process begins when there is a consensus that those in conflict should begin a process for conflict resolution.

See Flow Chart

 One on one when parties are comfortable working it out:

  1. Constructive Venting/Attentive Listening

2.  Parties go before a Clearness Committee.

3.  Board decides based on the Health of the Congregation.

One on one when the comfort level is NOTgood:

1. Individuals in conflict engage in Constructive Venting/Attentive Listening with a Facilitator.

2. Individuals proceed to a Clearness Committee.

3. Board decides based on the Health of the Congregation.

One vs group:

  1. A Clearness Committee representative meets with the individual.
  2. The Clearness Committee meets with the individual and acknowledges the broken agreement.
  3. Board decides based on the Health of the Congregation.

Two groups:

  1. Strategic Reversal with Facilitator
  2. Board decides based on the Health of the Congregation.

Description of Processes

Constructive Venting/Attentive Listening:

Each party beginning with the aggrieved party, gets up to 30 minutes to state their position using “I” statements (“When you say/do ….. I feel/I think/I see……”) with no interruptions, no note taking etc. The other party takes their turn. The parties continue the process until they achieve/reach a better way of being with each other.

 Constructive Venting/Attentive Listening with a Facilitator:

The same as Constructive Venting/Attentive Listening above with the addition of a facilitator to guide the process.

 Clearness Committee:

A three-member committee chosen by the Board of Directors for a one-year term. At any time, one member can represent the committee in One vs. Group situations or as facilitator.  The committee develops a list of suggested open-ended questions (i.e. cannot be answered with a “yes” or “no”) and sets the ground rules. Questions are asked of individuals separately, beginning with the aggrieved party. The facilitator helps individuals reach clarity around a decision or test a concern through listening and asking insightful questions.  See the list of sample open-ended questions.

  1. A representative of the Clearness Committee contacts the individual and explains the Fellowship’s expectations. The representative writes an agreement which is signed by both parties. A copy is filed with the Board. The representative explains future steps if the agreement is broken.
    1. If individual refuses to engage or sign agreement, case is taken directly to Board for the Board’s decision.
    2. If agreement is kept – stop.
    3. If agreement is broken – go to step two (2).
  2. Clearness Committee meets with the individual. They acknowledge the broken agreement and further explain that the necessity for change is ‘for the good of the Fellowship.’ A second agreement with a timeline is written and signed by both parties. A copy of the document is filed with the Board.

Committee members explain future steps if the agreement is broken.

  1. If agreement is kept – stop.
  2. If agreement is broken – issue goes to the Board for the Board’s decision.

Strategic Reversal with Facilitator:

Each side is given a small amount of time to state their position. Side one takes the position of side two and looks for why that is a valid position. They switch and side two takes the position of side one. Noting the key points, each side looks for why the opposite side has a valid position. The facilitator guides the process and helps the groups establish parameters on which everyone can agree.

The Board:

The Board has several options: formal mediation – a trained mediator works with individuals/groups in conflict to resolve their issues, suspension or dismissal from the Fellowship, congregational vote, etc.