A Message from the Healthy Congregation Team

A Message from the Healthy Congregation Team

Team Members: Beth Foreman, Alice Carnes, Merna Hesse, Hugh Hammond, and Rev. Robin Tanner.

The Healthy Congregation Team (HCT) continues its mission to promote the emotional health of our beloved community.  You might be wondering; how does the HCT do this?  In the past year, the HCT has promoted two exciting learning opportunities at Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church.

Nonviolent Communication (NVC), a series of classes for promoting authentic dialogues with one another.  In January, NVC classes facilitated by Hugh Hammond began and continued throughout the year.  Participants read the book Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg, PhD and learned a variety of techniques including: awareness of our feelings, thoughts, and needs by listening more deeply allowing us to becoming more authentic with one another. Many participants report they are using their NVC skills daily in their wider communities.

A Restorative Circles Workshop, a process for facilitating conflicts within our community.  In October, John Lash of the Conflict Center of Athens, Georgia, facilitated a Restorative Circles Workshop.  John and his co-facilitators shared with participants that conflicts are healthy and can be viewed as a gift.  During the weekend workshop, members reported that the simulated conflicts facilitated by the Restorative Circle process were an opportunity for growth and insight.

Both practices:  Nonviolent Communication and Restorative Circles are tools for creating a consciousness within our beloved community. When we have a willingness to challenge ourselves by enhancing our communication skills and creating a shared facilitated conflict resolution process; we are promoting our emotional health as a congregation. The HCT is currently working to identify a variety of processes i.e. Restorative Circles, mediation, supported conversations, etc. for assisting congregants in conflict who request assistance.

Please look in upcoming e-news announcements for opportunities to participate (in both or either) Nonviolent Communication and/or Restorative Circles.

The current HCT brochure outlines suggestions and a pathway for dealing with a congregant when in conflict. Brochures may be found on the information tables located in the hallway at the Charlotte campus on and at the back of the room at the Salisbury site.

Comments, suggestions and observations are encouraged. To contact HCT go to:  hct@puuc.org