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Return Civility to Christian Discourse

Contact: Mitch Carnell, 843-556-2310


MEDIA ADVISORY, May 29 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Anglican Communion is on the verge of rupture, The Southern Baptist Convention is in danger of splintering into single issue factions, the Methodists, Lutherans and Presbyterians are at an uneasy peace and very few leaders are speaking words of conciliation. The Catholic Church seems to be in a constant uproar. There is a definite and deafening decline of civility within the Christian community which is hampering if not defeating its mission.

In Charleston, South Carolina a slow but potentially powerful movement is beginning to emerge. Historic First Baptist Church now in its 325th year and the Charleston Baptist Association, the oldest Baptist association in the South, have declared the first Sunday in June as Say Something Nice Sunday. On this Sunday Christians of all denominations are urged to step back from strident discourse and to utter no word of criticism about another person or another religious group. In fact they are urged to go further and to say nice things about others and other religious groups.

Dr. Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, was elected as an outsider candidate partly because of his stance on turning down the rhetoric within the convention. The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, has endorsed the same sentiments of stepping back for reflection and reasoned dialogue.

The movement started with the publication of a small booklet by Dr. Mitch Carnell, Say Something Nice; Be a Lifter. Mayor Keith Summey of North Charleston, South Carolina, declared June 1st of each year as Say Something Nice Day. The idea of a Say Something Nice Sunday is a natural outgrowth of that and a response to the hostility within religious groups. First Baptist Church where Carnell is a member took the lead quickly endorsed by the Charleston Baptist Association, the Charleston Atlantic Presbytery and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of South Carolina.

There will be sermons, special programs, inserts in church bulletins, and other events to bring the message home. These materials along with biblical references are available at www.fbcharleston.org. As an example First Baptist Church of Charleston is holding a volunteer appreciation dinner with the pastor and staff cooking for and serving the volunteers.