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Channing Memorial Church Covenant

(Accepted by Congregation 5/21/2017)

 

Our covenant is a set of promises we make to one another to create a climate of brave space. It represents our understanding that we come together as a church to be part of something bigger than who we are by ourselves. In that spirit, we strive to promote the good of the whole community and the individual.  

 

● We promise to work together collaboratively with a commitment to justice, equity, and compassion. We:

  • Engage with respect and kindness.

  • Encourage those who are quieter to “lean in” and those who are naturally outspoken to “lean out” for full engagement.

  • Seek to understand one another’s perspectives, intentions, and needs.

  • Commit to having fun even as we engage in the serious work of church, using gentle humor to ease the way through challenges.

 

● We promise to invite and encourage each person to be open, honest, and engaged. We:

  • Listen respectfully to one another and uphold the equality of voices and feelings.

  • Honor confidentiality regarding sensitive matters. We also recognize that there may be times when an obligation to guard someone’s safety may override the need for confidentiality.

  • Value and encourage active participation of all and understand that each person’s capacity to engage varies.

  • Encourage one another to stretch, take risks, and ask for help.

  • Take personal responsibility for our own boundaries and connection.

  • Speak for ourselves when expressing our concerns. We don't expect anyone else to speak for us; nor will we speak on behalf of others who are able to speak for themselves.

  • Address those with whom we have a concern, directly and authentically.

 

● We promise to bravely wrestle with challenging issues and discuss fairly, respectfully, and constructively the opinions of others. We:

  • Acknowledge that different opinions and perspectives are part of the richness of our diversity. We are "like-hearted” people, not necessarily "like-minded." Even though we may disagree, we are still equal members of the community.  

  • Strive to be clear and honest when we have an objection, and to get to the core of the problem quickly.

  • Honor that Channing Memorial Church is a spiritual and religious place, remaining respectfully engaged regardless of political identity.

  • Commit to keeping lines of communication open, particularly when polarization is a danger, and staying connected with each other, regardless of whether our perspective is shared by the whole.

  • Accept that living in beloved community is not always comfortable. We acknowledge that discomfort is sometimes essential to growth, and we commit to staying connected as best we can in order to work things out.

 

Upholding this covenant is the responsibility of everyone in the church community. This is a living document for us as committed and imperfect human beings: We make it. We live it. We break it. We recommit. As we live out this covenant, we look to our mission, our vision, and our UU principles to guide us and move us forward.