Blessed are the Considerate: A Reflection on Email Etiquette
The Mid-Week Missive is based on Community Rules: An Episcopal Manual by Ian Markham and Kathryn Glover, both administrators at Virginia Theological Seminary. I am working my way through this book, reading and writing through the lens of our Life Together as part of the Christ the King Episcopal Church family, as well as part of the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast.
Rule #13: Be Considerate – It Is Part of Christian Email Etiquette. Markham and Glover’s reflection on this rule can be found in their book, which can be purchased here.
How does this rule apply to our Life Together at Christ the King? Markham and Glover’s very practical and on-point reflection on email etiquette includes:
· Email must never be written in haste or rage
· Sleep on an angry email, and even after, run the text past a friend or spouse before sending the message
· Civility in our email correspondence is a key part of living in community.
Holding the mirror up to myself, I recognize that I am guilty of sending emails that I would love to have back. I wish I could say that every email I’ve sent has been grounded in Christian charity, but the fact is, it hasn’t been. I’ve also been on the receiving end of not-so-charitable emails, and indeed, they sting.
The more I study and practice Benedictine spirituality, the more I am convinced that living in and being in community is one of the most difficult things we can do; but it is also has the potential to be the most rewarding. Community can bring out the best and worst in us. And sometimes, those we love the most can bring out the worst side of ourselves.
As we continue to live into our baptismal callings within the context of our parish church community, I encourage us all (myself included), to strive to be considerate, respectful, and charitable in the ways we communicate with one another. In doing so, we will more fully reflect in ourselves and see in others the precious image of God in which we are all created.
Christ’s blessings and peace,