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Guidelines for Civility in the United Methodist Church


1.      Respect the personhood of others, while engaging their ideas.
2.     Carefully represent the views of those with whom we are in disagreement.
3.     Be careful in defining terms, avoiding needless use of inflammatory words.
4.     Be careful in the use of generalizations; where appropriate offer specific evidence.
5.     Seek to understand the experiences out of which others have arrived at their views. Hear the stories of others, as we share our own.
6.     Exercise care that expressions of personal offense at the differing opinion of hers not be used as means of inhibiting dialogue.
7.     Be a patient listener before formulating responses.
8.     Be open to change in your own position and patient with the process of change in the thinking and behavior of others.
9.     Make use of facilitators and mediators where communication can be served by it.
10.  Always remember that people are defined, ultimately, by their relationship with God--not by the flaws we discover or think we discover in their views and actions.

As identified by the participants in the Dialogues on Theological Diversity: Nashville, TN, November 20-21, 1997 and Dallas, TX, February 19-20, 1998
Rev. William J. Abraham
Bishop Judith Craig
Ms. Mary Daffin
Rev. Maxie D. Dunnam
Bishop Marion M. Edwards
Mr. John Gardner
Rev. McCalister Hollins
Rev. Les Longden
Bishop Richard C. Looney
Rev. Donald E. Messer
Rev. M. Kent Millard
Rev. Joy Moore
Ms. Martha (Twick) Morrison
Mrs. Shirley Parris
Rev. Bruce W. Robbins
Rev. Naomi Southard
Rev. Greg Stover
Mr. Ernest Swiggett
Rev. Linda E. Thomas
Rev. Mark Trotter
Rev. Eradio Valverde, Jr.
Rev. Phil Wogaman
Bishop Joseph H. Yeakel
Dr. John B. Stephens, Facilitator 




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