MINISTRY AND COUNSEL DRAFT QUERIES (PT. 3)
A Worship Sharing will be held on Sunday, March 28, 2021, 10:00 a.m. via Zoom on part 3 (‘Intent vs Impact’) of the Draft Queries from the Meeting’s Committee on Ministry and Counsel during ‘Reading & Discussion’ time.
INTENT vs IMPACT
We often start from places of good intention in our words and actions. However, the impact of our words and actions may wound the recipients. It is important that we recognize the experience of listeners while simultaneously considering our part in that experience.
We might feel discomfort and unsettling when the impact is pointed out to us or when we realize the negative impact of our words or actions. A very human instinct is to “police” our words or to “shut down” or to point to our (good) intentions as we seek to protect ourselves from the discomfort. The discomfort may be a necessary part of the journey to act and speak in keeping with Spirit. (Is not effort and discomfort a necessary part of the journey to make muscles stronger?) Listening and acknowledging people as they express their experience of our words or actions is an important and essential part of our daily lives, if we want to right systemic wrongs. The use of “we” here is deliberate and encompasses both the individual and the group.
- Are we careful to consider the impact of our words and look beyond our intent when we speak? Could our words impact those who are different from us or who may not possess the privileges we enjoy?
- Do we recognize that listeners may hear and experience our words differently from what we intended to say as a result of systemic wrongs and inequities of our society? Do we acknowledge the right of people to express how they experience our behavior?
- When others voice the ways in which our words impact them, do we listen with a spirit of love, understanding, and forbearance, and do we seek the right course of action in humility?
- Do I recognize that personally being just and abhorring inequities is not enough? Do I recognize when I have personally benefited and continue to benefit from our society’s historic inequities? Do we consciously make efforts to confront and change systemic wrongs? Can we find ways to be proactive in confronting systemic wrongs in the face of significant disadvantage or resistance?
- Do we have the courage to not shut ourselves down or be overwhelmed when confronted by the impact of what we have said and/or done? Do we continue striving to acknowledge, change, and confront systemic wrongs?
Zoom connection information – URL: https://zoom.us/j/99445532926 | Meeting ID: 994 4553 2926.
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