Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I serve a smaller church with lots of history. As most churches, we get together for fundraising dinners, church potlucks and celebratory events. Each of these gatherings requires that we come together and work alongside one another. Working alongside others can be a wonderful thing. It can create a team like atmosphere with a common goal always in mind. In fact, I’ve heard that people working in residential treatment centers will be given a project to work on as a team. Team building, I think is the correct term. Team building, what an awesome idea!
The funny thing about team building….it implies living nonviolently toward the other person on the team. We cannot have a church event in which one person is engaging in a violent manner toward another person and I do not mean hitting or pushing. No, I mean violent in attitude and manner. Words and attitudes can be as violent as physical violence. How one responds when one does not agree, how one goes about setting the fellowship hall tables…”that’s not the way we do it, ya know!” and how one organizes oneself in response to other’s ideas and suggestions can all be met with a peacefulness or violence.
Living nonviolently is not only about great movements for peace in response to war, but also our day to day interactions with the other person. In fact, those great movements for peace are built when many people practice that everyday nonviolence. Living nonviolently implies that we attempt to live in harmony and unity with all the diversity of thought and ways of being and doing that surrounds us. When I say to the people I serve, “go in peace my friends” I am asking them to work and live alongside others in harmony. I am asking them to be team builders.
Go in peace, my friends.