Posts Tagged dialogue

Unity in the Body of Christ : Resolution Passed by SC Baptist Convention

This resolution was passed in support of objectives of  Say Something Nice Sunday.

WHEREAS, Ephesians 4:29 (NIV) says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen”; and

WHEREAS, We are reminded in Holy Scripture not to bear a grudge and to love one another (Leviticus 19:18); and

WHEREAS, Civility in public discourse (spoken and printed) appears to be declining among those of us who claim Jesus Christ as our Savior; and

WHEREAS, In recognition of the negative effects that such behavior has on our witness; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That we, the messengers of the South Carolina Baptist Convention meeting in Florence, South Carolina on November 13—14, 2007, do proclaim our intent to foster a climate of Christian communication that brings honor to our Lord through encouragement and love; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we encourage and support activities or programs that will help establish a positive dialogue, between Christians and with non-Christians, that honors Christ.

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Dialogue Requires Respect and Hard Work

Pope Francis emphasized the importance of dialogue during his visit to the United States. At each mention he stressed the importance of mutual respect. There can be no real dialogue until each party recognizes the inherit worth of the other. As long as I view you as less important than I am, there can be no real meeting of the minds.

Do you see me or am I just another statistic? Do you hear me or am I just another voice vying for attention lost in the crowd? We are often overwhelmed by the sheer number of homeless people, refugees, and migrant workers, children living in poverty or battered women that we fail to notice that these numbers are composed of individual human beings. We cannot wrap our minds around the overwhelming numbers. We must see each one as a unique creation.

We are staggered by the number of mass shootings in our country and yet individuals are murdered in our cities every day. We are numb to the numbers and to the frequency of these murders. The murder of nine people at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston got our attention and held it until another senseless shooting occurred at Roseburg, Oregon. After that shooting, I heard the brother of one of the victims calling for more guns. Doctor Carson, candidate for the Republican nomination for president, called for the arming of kindergarten teachers. There seems to be no end or limits to the madness.

What will it take for us to see each other as real flesh and blood people? We like to think in terms of blocks of people: Muslims, Communists, Nazis’, immigrants, takers. That way we are not confronted by individual faces. We can bomb neighborhoods and talk about collateral damage. Collateral damage is made up of mothers, daughters, sons, grandparents, aunts and uncles.

Pope Francis has it right when he calls for dialogue. There are no easy answers. We must learn to talk with each other not at each other. We must learn how to listen to what we do not want to hear and to what we do not agree with. This is hard work. It is much easier to get angry and to resort to violence. The next victim of collateral damage may be someone you care about.

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Twelve Days of Christmas – Sixth Follow Through

My sixth of the extended Twelve Days of Christmas came before June 17th which is the date I have chosen for each month. I am happy to report that I did follow through and it does feel good. I have made it half way through the year.

I have marked my 2015 calendar for each of the twelve months as a way of extending the wonderful spirit of Christmas throughout the entire year. My hope is that others will join in the spirit and make it a wonderful time for all of us. It does not need to be a grand gesture. Just make it something simple. Something you will do. You will be amazed about how even the simplest acknowledgement of another person can make a tremendous difference in a person’s life. It might only be a smile, a touch, a note, a telephone call or an email.

Of course, we are free to do more than one act of kindness. Several a day would be nice. Just do at least one or more on or before the date you have selected.

Charleston was hit this week with a terrible act of hate. We have created an atmosphere where it is alright to hate. Much of it stems from the hate speech that surrounds us. If I tell you just don’t hate, what does that mean? If I tell you to say something nice. You have something to aim for. Our speech reveals what is in our hearts. Say something nice to every person you meet. Let’s change the dialogue.

I am writing this as a part of my accountability to myself to remind me to follow through. Follow through on our good intentions is always the test.

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Mayor Keith Summey Proclaims 10th. Say Something Nice Day

Michael Brown, Mitch Carnell 2015Mayor Keith Summey of the City of North Charleston, South Carolina, proclaimed the 10th. Annual Say Something Nice Day at a city council meeting on May 28th. Councilman Michael Brown presented the proclamation. The event is on June 1, 2015. Mayor Summey proclaimed the first Say Something Nice Day in 2006. Since then the celebration has grown across the country.

Mayor Summey recognized the efforts of communication specialist Dr. Mitch Carnell, founder of the event. He talked about how important effective civil communication is in building relationships. Say Something Nice Day is listed in the Chase Calendar of Events.

Say Something Nice Day led to the establishment of Say Something Nice Sunday the first Sunday in June for religious organizations. It too is now widely celebrated.

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