Old Stone Church will be offering Communion every Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. throughout the Lenten season. All are welcome.

"Ground Rules"

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In the book "The Courage Way," Shelly Francis and the Center for Courage and Renewal have identified eleven "ground rules" to help move groups into greater trust, belonging, and understanding.

Old Stone Church looks to establish these "ground rules" as a code of conduct for our members and to add personal growth for all who worship here at Old Stone Church.

Give and Receive Welcome. Extend hospitality, and presume welcome, too. This includes welcome and support for diverse perspectives, opinions, and approaches. 

Be Present as Fully as Possible. Bring all of yourself - your doubts, fears, and failings, as well as your convictions, joys, and successes, your listening as well as your speaking - to the work. 

Extend Invitation, Not Demand. Participation by listening with care is no less a contribution than participation by speaking with care.  

Speak Your Truth in Ways That Respect Other People's Truth. When you're getting to know people, it's vital to share stories across lines of difference, not to debate who's right or wrong, and not to cast blame or shame. 

No Fixing, Saving, Advising or Correcting Each Other. Good leaders point their teams in a direction where they can find answers and also instill the belief that team members have the gifts and capacity to make good decisions the leaders will support. 

When the Going Gets Rough, Turn to Wonder. If you feel judgmental or defensive... ask yourself, "I wonder what brought her to this belief?" "I wonder what he's feeling right now?" "I wonder what my reaction teaches me about myself?"

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Practice Asking Open, Honest Questions. Open, honest questions are the ones you cannot possibly know the answers to in advance; they are meant to elicit insights, to help people access their own resourcefulness. 

Attend to Your Own Inner Teacher.  As you listen to and interact with others, pay close attention to your own reactions and responses. 

Trust and Learn From the Silence.  Silence, or stillness, is a gift in our noisy world, and a way of knowing in itself. 

Commit to and Maintain Confidentiality.  People are more likely to trust each other when they know that their words and stories will remain with those with whom they choose to share them, and will never be passed onto others without permission. 

Know That it's Possible for the Seeds Planted Here to Keep Growing. We stand in many tragic gaps in life and recognize that our vocation lies somewhere between what is real and what can be.