High Street Congregational Relationship Covenant
(To be voted on for approval at Congregational Meeting in May 2019)
Recognizing our power to heal, to help, and to hurt one another through word and deed we will:
- remember that how we say and do things is as important as what we say and do;
- strive always to speak and act with compassion, empathy, and understanding of each other’s vulnerability; and,
- accept responsibility for our individual actions within the community.
Celebrating the diversity of our congregation, we will:
- care for, celebrate, and be role models for our children;
- value the contribution of all generations, from the enthusiasm and questioning of the youngest to the wisdom and experience of the elders among us; and,
- remember always that relationship, inclusiveness, and the democratic process are part of our ministry together.
Understanding the importance of our faith community in our own lives and in the life of our community, we will:
- Practice deep listening, remaining engaged when we hear something that is difficult;
- endeavor at all times to speak kindly to each other and to listen with the expectation of good intentions on the part of those with whom we interact; and,
- recognize that reconciliation, in its various forms, is preferred to walking away and agree to remain in relationship and begin again in love (from Robert Eller-Isaacs).
A note about the language in the second paragraph, “celebrating the diversity of our congregation…” The Board wants to be as forthright as possible about our anti-discrimination stance. We recognize the value especially for people who occupy historically marginalized identities to hear and see that one is welcome. We felt that the covenant, which is more focused on the “how” of our relationships was not the right place for an anti-discrimination clause. Such a clause is included in our Bylaws under Article II, Section 2. Also, the Board approves the recommendation of the Committee on Ministry for this clause to be framed and hung in large print at either entrance to our sanctuary. The Board also approves the recommendation from the Committee on Ministry to the worship committee to incorporate an explicit celebration of the presence of such historically marginalized identities at the beginning/ welcome of worship services on a regular basis.
Bylaws of the High Street Unitarian Universalist Church:
Article II, Section 2. This church affirms and promotes the full participation of persons in all our activities and endeavors – including membership, programming, hiring practices, and the calling of religious professionals – without regard to race, color, gender, physical or mental challenge, affectional or sexual orientation, age, class, or national origin.