In light of recent violence targeting communities of faith, Columbus Police Chief Kimberley Jacobs - also a member at a West Ohio United Methodist church - shares some do's and don't's in confronting and preventing active threats to your congregation.
WHEREAS, the holiday season is an occasion where family and friends gather over meals and share moments of gratitude with and for each other; and express their faith in the Creator
WHEREAS, civil discourse is the free and respectful exchange of different ideas in a way that respects and affirms all persons, while hearing their perspectives; and
WHEREAS, listening to each other and listening across differences for understanding is important in building respect, deepening our relationships to see the image of the Creator in one another and sustaining our sense of community; and
WHEREAS, heated rhetoric and a shift away from collaboration leaves us divided and unable to solve the challenges confronting our community; and
WHEREAS, many people have experienced loss or harm to treasured relationships because of our heated rhetoric and divided politics; and WHEREAS, sharing our personal gratitude, fears, hopes and dreams can help us tell a story of what unites us over what divides us, and can bring us together around shared values during this time when our country needs it and as we gather with family and friends; and WHEREAS, listening with respect, pausing to reflect on the need to heal the divisions in our country, rebuilding trust and reconnecting as people around what unites us, are key elements of helping us revive civility and respect through “Setting the Table for Civility”;
NOW, THEREFORE, we, the Civil Discourse working group of the Ohio Council of Churches do hereby proclaim December 2017, to be Revive Civility Month in this community and encourage all residents to join in setting our tables for civility by reflecting on the need to heal our divisions, listening respectfully during this holiday season to people who have different views, and supporting efforts to work together across ideological and political differences. Rebecca J. Tollefson, Executive Director
6161 Busch Blvd., Suite 100, Columbus, OH 43229 ♦ 614-885-9590 ♦ www.ohcouncilchs.org