Our congregations strive to be inclusive communities, affirming our differences in beliefs, opinions, and life experiences.
However, in some cases, concern for the safety and well-being of the congregation as a whole must be given priority over the privileges and inclusion of an individual. To the degree that destructive behavior compromises the health of the congregation, as people of faith our actions must reflect our commitment to maintaining both security and beloved community. Disruptive behavior may involve actions that create concern for the physical or emotional safety of children or adults, staff, members, or even visitors. A baby crying in worship does not threaten the physical or emotional safety of the congregation. It may be distracting, but it is not disruptive. However, someone standing and yelling racial epitaphs during the service does indeed threaten the physical or emotional safety of those in attendance. This is Destructive. Destructive behavior may involve actions that disturb activities or weaken the congregation’s ability to serve current and future members and friends. These incidents can occur on the congregation’s property, during a congregational event, or via email and social media.
Not all conflict is destructive. We hope that most conflicts can and will be resolved by effort on the part of individuals to live our covenant and principles. This includes directly approaching the individual with whom they are having a conflict or consulting directly with the minister or appropriate team member for support and guidance. However, when behaviors are seen to be dangerous (creating concern for the physical and emotional safety of children and adults), destructive (disturbing or interfering with essential congregational activities), or image tarnishing (weakening the congregation’s ability to serve current and future members and friends), additional steps may be necessary.