Living by an ethic is like being on a never – ending pilgrimage from grand hope to a real challenge, and then journeying all the way back again into idealism so that we can tackle the next crunch of real life choices.
Hippocratic Oath (excerpts) c. 460 – c. 370 BC I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.prescribenever do harm In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction and especially from the pleasures of love with women or men, be they free or slaves. All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal.keep secret If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and practise my art, respected by all humanity and in all times; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may the reverse be my life.swerve
Values with a Capital V An affirmation of life Importance of community Equality Imperative to love Justice Autonomy Piety Responsibility Vocation Love is the will to extend oneself or give oneself up for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.
We love because God first loved us – we can not help but love. Love is redemptive Love is our calling But… …“Love is not simply giving; it is judicious giving and judicious withholding as well…The word “judicious” means requiring judgement, and judgement requires more than instinct; it requires thoughtful and often painful decision-making.” M Scott Peck – The Road Less Travelled”
Four Rules Veracity (telling the truth) Fidelity (keeping promises) Confidentiality (keeping secrets) Privacy (maintaining dignity)
The Church Council Reg 3.1.2 building up the Congregation in faith and love sustaining members in hope leading the Congregation to a fuller participation in Christ’s mission in the world
The ethics of covenant “Sharing with the minister(s) in mission and in the pastoral care and spiritual oversight of the congregation.” Elected – by choice rather than by necessity Relational - often use family type words and expectations Relationship of mutuality and some obligation Solemnified in some way
The ethic of nurture Nurturing the members and adherents in their growth in grace Doing things like… Mentoring Listening Discipling Studying Encouraging Teaching Counselling No harm Doing good Giving people space and choice Being fair The ethic of love
The ethic of leadership Doing things like… deciding, managing, determining, arranging, disciplining No harm Doing good Giving people space and choice Being fair The ethic of love
The ethic of dealing with our own stuff Doing things like… Coping with my own history; Acknowledging my own weaknesses; Sensitivity to betrayal, being put down; My own human needs; My own interest in this No harm Doing good Giving people space and choice Being fair The ethic of love
The ethic of communication Doing things like… speak disagree discern use authority deal with our anger, disappointment, frustration anxiety No harm Doing good Giving people space and choice Being fair The ethic of love
A code of conduct is a short-cut! Why bother? Isn’t it obvious?
Ethics for the Pastoral Carer Everyone became alarmed when they saw Mulla Nasruddin, mounted on his ass, charging through the streets of the village. “Where are you off to, Mulla? they asked. “I’m searching for my ass!” said the Mulla as he whizzed by.
The family system Roles Rules Norms Communication Patterns
It is the absurdity of family life, (and church life)* the raggedness of it, that is at once its redemption and its true nobility. James McBride *Sharonne’s addition!
How then shall we live? The Riverview UCA Covenant
The Riverview UCA Community Commits to Grounding its life in Jesus Christ Ensuring that Riverview UCA is a safe place for all people Valuing every person and being concerned for every person’s well-being – in body, mind and spirit Being a community of nurture where needs are met and growth and maturity are fostered with love Participating in God’s mission in our community
And so, we will Treat each other with respect honesty and openness Exercise generosity and hospitality Tolerate and also enjoy our differences Work at those things that we find difficult Listen to each other with care, checking out that we have heard each other accurately Remember to laugh often
Pray diligently and seek the leading of God’s spirit Hold our grievances loosely but seek resolution of conflict promptly and face to face
The Riverview UCA Church Council commits itself to: Seeking the guidance of God in all that it does. Supporting the covenant of the Riverview UCA community by its decision-making processes and behaviour. Holding to the principles of courtesy; good communication; and striving to understand will be core to the work of the Council. Exercising a gentle oversight for the whole community of Riverview UCA
Dealing with conflict promptly and openly Modelling good conflict resolution strategies Dealing with its business in a timely, fair and just manner