Where Has the Right Relations Task Force Been?

by Mary Anderson

Right relations at East Shore is alive and kicking!  Despite keeping a seemingly low profile during the summer, here’s what’s been happening under the calm surface:

  • The Right Relations Task Force has become the Right Relations Committee, a standing committee of the Board. We are developing a charter, have submitted a budget, and we are working with the Board and other groups within East Shore to imbed right relations practices into the fabric of our church.
  • The Right Relations Committee introduced East Shore’s Covenant of Right Relations at the June Congregational Meeting. Many people have signed the covenant signaling their support. A banner with the covenant will be available in the foyer on Sunday mornings for your signature as well.
  • What’s really fabulous is that the Right Relations Facilitation Team (RRFT) is almost ready to tell the world that it is trained, practiced, and ready to serve individuals seeking guidance in resolving a conflict. The goal of “conflict coaching” is for an individual to become clear about their conflict and develop their own way forward. Over the summer the RRFT has received training from The City of Bellevue Conflict Resolution Center in coaching an individual through a conflict and they have practiced and practiced to hone their skills. Once the team is ready to go, anyone in the congregation wanting help to resolve a conflict can contact any RRFT team member or Right Relations Committee member to access their services. Stay tuned for more on what Facilitation Team members can offer.
  • Right Relations Facilitation Team members are being trained as process observers at meetings – for example, calling group attention to members who are trying to contribute but haven’t been recognized, checking in when a group’s Guidelines of Right Relations have been breached, and simply to ensure that a meeting doesn’t fall off the rails of good listening and conflict response. If your meeting could use a neutral observer, let us know.
  • Members of the Right Relations Facilitation Team are Michelle Danley, Peter Sugarman, Dave Porter, Milly Mullarky, Jennifer Sumner, Mike Radow, Jose Garcia, and Mark Norelius.
  • Mark is already working with the Holly House Task Force as a process observer. We are hoping that what is learned here will serve the entire community as we move forward.
  • The Right Relations Committee and Facilitation Team are working with and learning from Pam Orbach of Empowering Connection. Pam is an expert in teaching restorative communication skills. Several groups and individual congregants have become familiar with her work. Pam has been teaching how to create safe spaces for individuals and groups to move through roadblocks and conflict into growth and transformation.

This is just the beginning! If you would like to know more about the Right Relations Committee or Facilitation Team, please contact a member of the Right Relations Committee.

Louise Wilkinson, Mark Norelius, Mary Anderson and Aisha Hauser.