Covenant of Right Relations
The well-being, strength, and reputation of the West Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship depend on a sense of true community among congregants and staff. A religious community that engages wholeheartedly within an atmosphere of trust, respect and cooperation will thrive. Resolving differences of opinion and managing polarities using thoughtful communication supports the Fellowship’s health. Allowing differences to descend into prolonged conflict can undermine its social and spiritual fabric. The goal of the Covenant of Right Relations is to help us live the seven UU Principles that guide our beloved community.
Therefore I, as a Member or Friend of West Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, covenant with my fellow congregants, staff, and Board of Trustees to strive to live in harmony. I enter into this Covenant of Right Relations both as a free individual and as an integral part of our faith community.
Part I: I take responsibility for my behavior and communication in the following ways:
- Practice civility, empathy and compassion in listening and speaking and hold myself accountable for my words and actions.
- Acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of others, whether staff or volunteer.
- Seek to understand another’s point of view when differences arise. Listen deeply and speak directly with respect and kindness.
- Address the merits of issues rather than perceived shortcomings of individuals.
- Encourage others’ expression of diverse and opposing views without ridicule or intimidation.
- Frame issues for accuracy and understanding, preventing distortion.
- Avoid interrupting or “talking over” others in committee or congregational meetings. Seek contributions from all members, respecting different styles of communication.
- State my feelings when I or others are being ignored, disparaged or treated unkindly. Apologize and seek pardon when I am unkind.
- Acknowledge that we all make mistakes and be generous with forgiveness.
10.Use discretion in my use of email, honoring privacy and confidentiality.
Part II: I will help strengthen the community by adding my personal commitment, gifts, and efforts to the Fellowship in the following ways:
- Interact openly, honestly, and kindly with my peers and our leadership regarding the business of the Fellowship and provide informed constructive feedback when I believe that change is needed.
- Take responsibility for gathering information and increasing my understanding of the issues in order to participate effectively in congregational discussions.
- Contribute to a strong and balanced infrastructure by giving my time, talent, energy, and financial resources, as I am able.
- Take responsibility for understanding and following the congregation’s bylaws, policies, and other formal protocols.
Part III: To encourage personal growth of the individual and support the health of the Fellowship, I will:
- Do my part to provide a nurturing environment that is physically and emotionally safe for all.
- Honor and support decisions reached through the democratic process, even when I do not agree.
- Ensure that appropriate authority is granted and supported when responsibility is delegated.
- Engage and follow the WHUUF Policy on Disruptive Behavior when serious challenges arise.
- Lead with humility, practice collaboration, share and delegate responsibilities, and avoid taking on more than can be done well.
- Practice transparency in matters relating to church business and honor confidentiality in matters of personal information.