So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift–Matthew 5:23-24
Our Lord makes it clear that the duty to pursue reconciliation when another person is aggrieved, offended or feels they have been wronged applies to all believers. That includes Peace Advocates who serve through PeacePoint.
All Individuals who serve as Peace Advocates through PeacePoint in any capacity are expected to comply with the Peace Advocate Code of Ethics at all times. They may also be subject to other codes of conduct in a particular case, like the Standard of Conduct for Christian Conciliation. In addition, Peace Advocates are obligated to abide by all rules and procedures that are applicable in a particular case, like PeacePoint’s Mediation Procedures, PeacePoint’s Arbitration Rules, the ICC Rules of Procedure for Christian Conciliation or various rules and procedures published by the American Arbitration Association. PeacePoint refers to the codes of conduct, rules and procedures that are applicable in each situation or case as the “Standards.”
If a party to any case, a person who receives services from a Peace Advocate or any other interested individual believes that a Peace Advocate may have violated any applicable Standard, the following Peace Advocate grievance process may be initiated.
If a Peace Advocate realizes that he or she may have acted inconsistently with any applicable Standard, or may have been perceived by others to have done so, the Peace Advocate may “self-report” the situation to PeacePoint. PeacePoint may then coach the Peace Advocate on how to address the issue privately or to reach out to an aggrieved party. PeacePoint may also contact the aggrieved party directly to facilitate a resolution of the matter pursuant to the following procedures.
If any party or other legitimately interested individual (referred to as the “Complainant,” whether one or more) believes that a Peace Advocate may have violated any applicable Standard, the Complainant should normally communicate directly with the Peace Advocate regarding those concerns and make a good faith effort to resolve them through personal conversations. This step is not necessary in cases of power imbalances or abusive behavior that would make further personal conversations with the Peace Advocate intimidating or inappropriate.
If personal conversations do not resolve the issue satisfactorily, the Complainant shall notify PeacePoint of the alleged violation(s) by sending a detailed written description of the incident (“Complaint”) to email@example.com or to PeacePoint, 301 South McDowell Street, Suite 412, Charlotte, NC 28204.
The president of PeacePoint or a member of PeacePoint’s Board of Directors will serve as the Initial Reviewing Officer (“IRO”) for all Complaints other than those filed against the president. If the complaint is filed against the president, the IRO shall be a member of PeacePoint’s Board of Directors.
To ensure a fair and objective process, communications shall take place directly between the Complainant and the IRO and shall not be channeled through the Peace Advocate.
The IRO may immediately contact the Complainant to clarify information, or may contact the Peace Advocate to request an initial response to the Complaint. The Peace Advocate shall be informed of a Complaint and given an opportunity to respond.
If the IRO believes there is a reasonable chance that the Complaint can be resolved privately between the Complainant and the Peace Advocate, the IRO may offer them relevant advice and encourage them to make another attempt to resolve the matter personally.
In addition, the IRO may propose a specific regimen of counseling and discipleship for the Peace Advocate, which may include temporary suspension of the provision of services by the Peace Advocate through PeacePoint, in order to help the Peace Advocate address character or skill issues raised by the grievance. If both the Complainant and Peace Advocate approve of this regimen, the grievance process will be stayed until the regimen is completed, at which point the IRO will report the results to the Complainant. If the IRO and the Complainant are satisfied with the results, the grievance will be closed.
Formal Investigation and Decision
If either the Complainant or Peace Advocate prefer not to talk privately again, or if they do talk but are unsuccessful in resolving the Complaint, or if either the Complainant or the Peace Advocate is not satisfied with a proposed counseling regimen, or the Complainant is not satisfied with the reported results of such a regimen, either the Complainant or the Peace Advocate (“the Parties”) may request a formal investigation of the Complaint.
The IRO shall make every reasonable effort to gather as complete and accurate an understanding of the situation and issues as possible. This investigation may involve: requesting more detailed written statements or evidentiary documents from the Parties or relevant witnesses, individual conversations with the Parties or relevant witnesses, or joint conversations with the Parties or witnesses, either by phone, video conference or in-person meetings.
If the Complaint involves complex issues or has the potential to impact the wider conciliation community, the IRO may appoint two or more qualified individuals to assist the IRO in the investigation.
As more information emerges, the IRO may offer verbal or written counsel to the any of the Parties on how they might be able to resolve the matter personally and informally by acknowledging their own misunderstandings or mistakes and by committing to specific remedies or changes in the future. If agreed upon by all Parties, this may include the implementation of the counseling regimen specified in provision 8.
If a personal, informal resolution is not supported by any of the Parties, after gathering all relevant information the IRO shall render a decision that addresses the elements of the Complaint. This Decision may be communicated either verbally or in writing to the Parties and may include: acquitting or reproving the Peace Advocate in whole or in part; offering counsel to any of the Parties on how to repair wrongs or change attitudes or behavior that appears to have contributed to the Complaint; communicating concerns to the Peace Advocate’s church leadership or colleagues; temporary or permanent suspension of the provision of services by the Peace Advocate through PeacePoint.
If the Peace Advocate is certified by or serves under or through another training, certification, and/or reconciliation organization, such as Ambassadors of Reconciliation, ICC Peace, Crossroads Resolution Group, LLC or RW360, those organizations may be notified of the decision and any action taken by PeacePoint with respect to the Peace Advocate, and PeacePoint will cooperate with those organizations as they determine their response to the IRO’s decision.
Review of IRO’s Decision
If any of the Parties are dissatisfied with the IRO’s decision rendered, they may request that it be reviewed by a Review Panel. The request for review must be received by PeacePoint not more than 30 days after the requesting party was notified of the IRO’s decision.
The Review Panel shall be comprised of three members appointed by PeacePoint’s Board of Directors. All of the members may be members of PeacePoint’s Board of Directors; provided, however, if the Complaint is filed against the president of PeacePoint or a Board member, neither that person nor any member of his or her family may serve on the Review Panel or participate in its deliberations. The Board may, but shall not be required to, appoint one or more consenting representatives from Ambassadors of Reconciliation, Crossroads Resolution Group, LLC and/or RW360 to serve on the Review Panel.
The Review Panel may conduct its own investigation, if and to the extent it deems further investigation appropriate, and/or it may rely on the communications, documents, reports and decisions generated during the formal investigation by the IRO.
A majority of the Review Panel shall issue a decision that either affirms or modifies the IRO’s decision in whole or in part, and the decision of the Review Panel shall be final and binding.