Covenant of Right Relations for Our Church
Love is the spirit of our congregation, and service is our aim. To dwell together in peace and freedom, to seek the truth, and to help one another: These are our goals.
As we strive to build our Beloved Community, we affirm the Covenant of Right Relations to help us realize that Spirit of Love in action, to create a welcoming and supportive atmosphere of honesty, trust, gratitude, loyalty, forgiveness, appreciation, acceptance, and compassion. Conflicts will occasionally challenge us, but we welcome them as opportunities to seek greater understanding and to build an even stronger community. As imperfect humans, of course we will sometimes fall short. Nevertheless, by embracing this Covenant, we aspire to live up to these ideals and to treat others, within this congregation and beyond, with dignity, respect, and love.
- We will treat each other with dignity, respect, compassion, sensitivity, and appreciation.
- We will seek the Common Good of the community, not our individual preferences.
- We will welcome and embrace all who wish to join our Beloved Community.
When Others Speak:
- We will listen carefully to one another, keeping an open mind and an open heart.
- We will listen attentively, seeking to learn and to better understand one another.
- We will listen respectfully, even to those who voice different religious or political views.
- We will listen thoughtfully and reflectively before seeking to respond.
When We Speak:
- Before speaking, we will check our own assumptions and motivations.
- Before speaking, we will THINK by asking ourselves if our words will be:
- Truthful, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, or Kind.
- We will speak for ourselves using “I” statements, not presuming to speak for others.
- We will speak our own truths bravely, trusting that we are in a safe and gracious space where we respect and accept one another.
- We will speak to share our appreciation and gratitude for each other.
In Moments of Conflict:
- We will seek to better understand others and to find common ground, always assuming that others too have good intentions.
- We will seek to build consensus and find mutually acceptable agreements, rather than win/lose, binary, or “majority rules” solutions.
- We will speak directly to others with whom we have personal conflicts, choosing an appropriate time and place to re-connect and find resolution.
- We will forgive each other and ourselves, accepting responsibility for our own behavior, and then move on.
Approved by the congregation May 2019