We, the Members, Friends, and Staff of UUCSS are committed to affirming and promoting the inherent worth and dignity of every human being and supporting spiritual growth and learning. We enter into this covenant with one another to foster a caring community, celebrate our differences, encourage trust and respect, and support our committees and leadership structure. Knowing we will at times fall short of these ideals, we intend to use this covenant as our guide for the behavior we expect of ourselves and others as we live and work in community.
Foster a Caring Community: We will act with kindness, empathy and compassion. This means we will:
- Be considerate of others’ feelings;
- Use humor to unite us not divide us;
- Assume people mean well;
- Understand and forgive our own limitations and the limitations of others;
- Be friendly and welcome newcomers by reaching out to them, inviting them to participate, and providing them with information.
Celebrate our Differences: We will set aside our individual agendas and look for common ground so as to find the “we” in our journey together. This means we will:
- Listen with an open heart and mind across differences;
- Relate in an honest, respectful manner and listen carefully to each other’s viewpoints;
- Seek to learn from our differences rather than acting negatively upon judgments we make about others.
Encourage Trust and Respect: We will nurture as safe and supportive atmosphere, respectfully address concerns, seek productive resolution of conflict when it arises, and help others in that process.
We will strive to create an atmosphere of trust and respect. This means we will:
- Set clear boundaries and respect those of others;
- Be loyal to the absent and refrain from criticizing those who are not present;
- Respect confidentiality by keeping confidences and not asking others to break them
We will address concerns productively while striving to remain in community. This means we will:
- Raise issues directly, promptly and bravely and recognize that we are asking others to do the same with us;
- Address conflict in person when possible, avoid hasty responses, and make time if someone approaches us with a concern;
- Communicate gently and respectfully and listen openly;
- Focus on resolution within the context of our community’s principles;
- Seek support from leadership and Right Relations if we need assistance in resolving significant conflict of if the conflict is escalating;
- Strive to restore the relationship through forgiveness and letting go.
We will offer support to those in conflict. This means we will:
- Provide support and caring to all parties engaged in conflict resolution;
- Encourage others to confront issues directly, commit to resolving them, and strive to remain in community.
Support our Committees and Leadership. We will participate in and provide support to our community as well as our committee and leadership structure.
We will share the work of advancing community goals. This means we will:
- Recognize that being in community is hard work;
- Share the work of the community as able in taking on responsibilities or delegating them as necessary;
- Express appreciation for each others’ contributions and their willingness to serve our community;
- Honor and follow through on commitments in a timely and thorough manner and communicate promptly with others if we are unable to do so;
- Give information accurately and thoroughly;
- Encourage people who routinely contribute large amounts of volunteer time to take care of and replenish themselves;
- Honor the covenant before the task and honor the person before the work.
The congregation and leadership will work together to implement the Vision and Mission of the church. This means:
- The congregation will empower our leadership with information and support;
- Our leadership will engage the congregation in dialogue about the direction of the church;
- We will look for opportunities for healthy evolution of the community;
- We will take responsibility for our concerns and needs and consider them in relation to those of the community.