We offer trainings and practice sessions to help you learn conflict resolution and healthy communication skills. We also facilitate these conflict resolution and communication methods. We help you communicate and be heard when challenging issues arise in your team or within our congregation.

 

This video was created by the Healthy Congregation Team (HCT) as part of the FUUSB June 6, 2021 service. The service lifted up listening as a tool integral to a Radical Welcome Back after a year of many hardships and changes due to the pandemic. It explored how listening can build connections and expand our understanding by listening to each other’s experiences during this past year and giving space and attention to what people are feeling as they consider the transition to the opening of the building. In the video, HCT members share their thoughts on the importance of listening and being listened to, and stories of personal work on strengthening listening skills as a communication tool. Deep Listening and Reflective Listening practice as well as Deep Listening Circles are offerings the Healthy Congregation Team provides to the congregation.

 

Deep Listening Circles
These are gatherings facilitated by HCT members meant to help us connect with one another through deep listening as each participant expresses their thoughts and feelings about major events of importance to the congregation. Participants speak authentically from their own experience and listen deeply to others as they share their experience. The opportunity to speak is passed around the circle as many times as needed, until everyone has said all they needed to say. There is no cross talk or discussion. Circles about an important event may be suggested to the HCT by any member or staff, and if approved by the senior minister or their designee, they will be held.

 

The Restorative Circles process is a way for people in conflict to re-establish their relationships to each other and their community. It is safe, structured, inclusive, transparent, and includes facilitated gatherings.

In a Restorative Circle, we seek to restore broken or strained covenantal relationships between members, friends, and staff of FUUSB. We do not seek to establish blame or force people to participate. Everyone in the circle participates in reflective listening and responds to questions designed specifically to resolve conflict.

 

Practice Sessions
We offer short Deep Listening Practice Sessions and we also aim to offer Non-Violent Communication Practice Sessions so the congregation can practice this communication and conflict resolution skill.

 

Contact Nancy Hellen or Noah Patullo, co-chairs of the Healthy Congregation Team, for more information or to request a circle. Anyone can request a Deep Listening Circle or a Restorative Circle. You do not need any special skills or knowledge to participate. Please contact the co-chairs for more information about practice sessions.