Sacred Decisions: Consensus in Faith Communities

Marcia Patton and Nora J. Percival. Judson, $12.99 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-0-8170-1829-0
Patton, former executive minister of American Baptist Churches, and Percival, a Quaker representative on the Church Council of Greater Seattle, explore consensus as a decision-making tool for communities of faith in this practical guide. The authors explain that, as utilized in Quaker churches for hundreds of years, consensus is often a successful strategy because it is “deeply rooted... in the testimonies of equality and community,” and thereby more inclusive and egalitarian than traditional Christian churches that are directed by a leader. They cite three major requirements for establishing a consensus model: “openness to new ideas; rejection of one-sided advocacy; and regard for creative compromise.” Challenges to the model are also discussed, such as an implementation process that is “non-linear and complex,” the importance of having a good facilitator, and the amount of time it can take to reach decisions. The authors also provide real world examples of their model in action taken from a variety of churches, including one from a University Friends Meeting resulting in acceptance of the validity and performance of same-sex marriage within the church. This is a valuable guide for ministers looking to create more open, inclusive faith communities. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/01/2021
Release date: 11/01/2021
Genre: Religion
Book - 978-0-8170-8232-1
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