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Digging Deeper: Group values and boundaries

Digging Deeper exists to provide a safe space to think together and explore ideas, without fear of judgement or disapproval. To help us create together an environment that enables these kinds of conversations, we have some guidelines about how we are going to be with one another. 

We might choose to revisit these occasionally to see if they still work for us. 

  • Love, laughter, tea, coffee, cake, friendship and mutual support, collaboration, discussion, exploration, listening. 

  • Everyone is a leader and no one is The Leader.

  • There is a wealth of talent, knowledge and interests in the group. Everyone has something different to bring. We can all bring something if we would like to.

  • We are all equal in the sight of God and each other. Age, gender, sexuality, colour, IQ, qualifications, career, achievements and money are of little consequence. 

  • We will show encouragement, empathy and understanding towards one another.

  • Confidentiality - what is said in the room stays in the room.

  • We will allow one another time to speak. If we notice someone hasn’t spoken, we will ask them if they would like to - but only if they want to.  Pause is powerful - especially for Introverts. Those that speak a lot at the expense of others will gently be prompted to try and be more aware of their effect on others. 

  • Listen to other people with fascination. Value their opinions, beliefs and feelings - even if you don’t agree with them. They believe those things for a reason. There is almost always a story or an experience behind what they believe.

  • Ask questions in order that you can understand other people’s perspectives. 

  • Be willing to share your thoughts, but do so without the need to make sure others adhere to your beliefs. Ask for permission before giving someone advice or telling them what you think they need to do. Just because it worked for you does not mean it will always work for them.

  • Express oneself with civility, courtesy, and respect toward those with whom we disagree, even if we might feel disrespected by them.

  • We can ask the heretical questions and respectfully say what we believe.

  • No one is stupid and there is no such thing as a stupid question. It’s okay not to understand, or not know about something.

  • Take care of using complex language. Explain any technical words or concepts you might use. 

  • Be authentically you. Come with your thoughts, doubts and wounds. Practice healthy vulnerability. 

  • It is okay to need healing. It is okay to heal slowly. Respect each others wounds. If a person indicates they don’t want to talk or pray about an issue please respect their wish. 

  • Be aware that some topics of discussion can be triggering for some. They may not feel able to discuss the topic and may wish to opt out of the discussion, or not turn up. Respect people’s sore/shame points. Maybe be willing to share your sore/shame points so others are respectfully aware and can avoid them if need be.

  • We are open to giving and receiving respectful, sensitive feedback when necessary to keep the group running well. Also when you lead or speak to the group you may invite feedback. It is best however if you invite it yourself first. Quietly ask one or two others: What went well? What did not go so well? What could I do differently next time? 

  • Everyone is allowed to make mistakes, learn from them and start again. We are all going to get some of the points listed above wrong from time to time. We recognise we need each others help and patience. We also recognise all the above needs thought and takes time to develop.

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