Team All Ears/Team Covenant
Healthy communication is important to any organization. It is a complex issue that affects groups of all different sizes and composition. Struggles with communication are not unique to GCC, so that’s reassuring. However, poor communication does affect how we get along as a congregation and therefore deserves our attention. Improving communication will require everyone’s effort and understanding on a continual basis.
To aide in these efforts, our church has adopted the following Communication Covenant:
If you have a problem with me, come to me. If I have a problem with you, I will come to you. If someone has a problem with me and comes to you, send them to me. I will do the same for you. If someone will not come to me, then say to them “let’s go together” and see that person. I will do the same for you.
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, makes bodily growth and up-builds itself in love. -Ephesians 4:15-16
Be careful how you interpret me. I will be careful how I interpret you.
Make your ear attentive to wisdom and incline your heart to understanding…Proverbs 2:2
I will keep confidences. A confidence is not a secret, it’s the sharing of information only with people who need it. I will not read unsigned letters or notes, nor listen to gossip. I will take ownership of information I share.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven……..
a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak…Ecclesiastes 3:1+7
I will only speak from my personal experiences. As a forgiven people, I will choose to forgive others.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you…Ephesians 4:32
Here we promise to care about each other.
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit….1 Corinthians 12
We, the people of Groveland Congregational Church promise to live these words to the best of our ability; adopted by Congregational Vote in March 2019.
If you should have any questions or concerns, please exercise your healthy communication skills and contact a member of Team All Ears. Thank you.
Team members – Kim Mosley, Ron Mertens, Sandy Keene, Lew Harrold
Minutes from Team Covenant Mon. Jan 14, 2019
attending: Pastor Chris, Lew Harrold, Nancy Fitzgerald, Ron Mertens, Sandy Keene
Our final copy of the Communication Covenant that we put together was presented. Team agreed it was ready to go to the congregation at Annual Meeting for acceptance. Ron M. agreed to present Covenant at AM. We discussed various ways of promoting the covenant. Pastor Chris will work with Jen to include the covenant at least in the following formats:
Inclusion in Annual Meeting packet (to hand out approx 2 weeks prior to meeting)
Add graphic to wall screen
Post hard copy on bulletin board
Laminate some copies and make available to meeting leaders for use throughout the year.
Pastor Chris thanked the Team for success in writing the covenant and in the quality of content.
Team Moses and Team All Ears had joined forces to become Team Covenant.
Team Covenant will continue through till Annual Meeting.
Team All Ears members will continue it’s work with being available to the congregation and support parish relations. Note: this Team is similar to the Church and Ministry and Pastoral Support Committees of the past.
No further meeting dates set at this time.
Respectfully submitted – Sandy Keene
Meeting notes from July 18th Chat Room
Attending: Ron M., Lew and Barb H., Amy S, Bette N, Sandy K
Topic was Communication is a Two Way Street
Google defines “communication” as the imparting or exchanging of information or news. We noted that EXCHANGING is the key part here. Communication connects people/ideas.
We explored the situation of each of us, at one time or another, have likely been upset with a spouse or good friend. That may have meant that we got in our cars and drove away from the confrontation – maybe to cool down or to collect our thoughts. But what happens next? Are we the type of driver who just keeps driving around/spinning our wheels/going no where/remaining upset OR do we drive back to the source of the conflict and try to share our feelings and resolve the issue? If we want to choose the path of good communication, we have to drive back!
A question was posed: Who do you communicate the most with in your personal life? In your church life? And what means of communication does this involve? Is it by phone, email, text, face to face? We discussed these avenues and how/why they are best for specific conversations.
We noted that if, perhaps, Jen (in the office) or Chris (our Pastor) did not make your list, then there may be an opportunity here for more contact with them. They are great resources.
We shared some scripture readings related to communication. Here are a few favorites and their main points.
Ephesians 4:29 say nice things, Ephesians 4:32 be kind and forgive, Proverbs 18:13 listen first, Proverbs 16:28 clicks/secrets are damaging, Exodus 20:16 don’t bear false witness
There are many others – we were encouraged to go and share these with others, look up more, explore communication in The Bible.
The Ministry Team’s question regarding how people feel about the possibility of increasing church income through the rental of our spaces:
In general, people were fine with this. Reservations surfaced regarding: scheduling complications, regular renters vs. one timers, fair and efficient sign up for space use (consider even an online signup?), not sure what space is reasonable/ready to rent out, AND mostly that the renters purpose should match GCC’s mission. Some would love to see the dance group return to use our space.
Round Tables are a good idea/has value/improves interaction – but who is handling this? Have we looked at size options to determine what is best to purchase? Offering to help is great, but good communication involves finding the source/person handling this, discussing the project with them and determining a course of action together.
Snowflake Fair – currently, no one is specifically the “lead coordinator” and this is presenting difficulties. Who should call a meeting? How do we find a lead? Some suggested just calling the meeting and then figuring it out in the group setting. Perhaps someone will volunteer to lead. The Fair is a mission…not just a fundraiser.
Who is the contact? As projects/events come up at GCC, it would be helpful to list a contact person in every email/bulletin message/etc. so the congregation will know who to go to if they are interested in the project/event. Sandy offered to discuss this with Jen in the office. It was also reiterated that if someone doesn’t know who is spearheading a project…then they should contact Jen or Pastor Chris as they will likely know who to contact.
In closing – Communication is a two way street. Seek out the source and engage in conversation! God and LOVE is at the center of all we do – even our communications. Speak in love, act in love, listen in love. Support others – if you witness someone struggling with a conflict or bad feelings, talk with them. Encourage them to DRIVE to the source and work it out…in LOVE.
Next Chat Room – Sunday Aug 12 following worship. We will begin work on the Behavioral/Communication Covenant in collaboration with Team Moses. Bring a lawn chair. Beginning in the fall, further Chat Rooms will be attended by Pastor Chris as his presence and experience is integral to good and open communication.