Conflict Resolution Guidelines

Differences of opinion may arise in any congregation, and the strength of our community is enhanced when these differences or conflicts are resolved through consensus or compromise.

When conflict does arise consider the following:

1) Anonymous complaints are not acceptable.

2) Those involved in the conflict are encouraged to consider their own roles and why the matter is important to them.

3) If possible, involved persons should speak directly to one another using “I” statements and listening actively to make sure they have heard correctly.

4) If a direct conversation is too difficult or if the issue has not been satisfactorily resolved, the minister or the minister’s designee can be consulted.

Most conflicts can be resolved by the individuals involved. To maintain a safe and secure environment for all persons, if a conflict escalates into public disruptive or threatening behavior, further action may be necessary.

Such action may include, but is not limited to the following:

1) If an immediate response is required, the minister, a board member, or a leader of the meeting group will respond by pulling the offending person aside and asking her/him to leave or by suspending the meeting. If necessary, the police may be called.

2) For ongoing situations or those not requiring immediate response, the minister or the president of the Board of Trustees shall be apprised of the incident or incidents. The minister or minister designee may meet with the party or parties involved in the disruption and make recom- mendations, which may or may not lead to compromise.

3) If the minister or minister’s designee believes further action is needed, the matter will be referred to the Board president who will communicate to the offending parties, in writing, the concerns and expectations of the Fellowship.

4) If the behavior is unchanged and is considered a threat to the SUUF community, the Board may issue a warning to the offending party or parties. If the behavior continues, the Board may consider suspension or expulsion from the Fellowship. All actions taken by the minister, designee, group leader or the Board of Trustees in matters concerning disruptive behavior should be documented.

Approved at the January 19, 2024 meeting of the SUUF Board of Trustees.