Behavioral Covenants for Unitarian Universalist Congregations Covenants.

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Transcript of Behavioral Covenants for Unitarian Universalist Congregations Covenants.

  • Behavioral Covenants for Unitarian Universalist CongregationsCovenants

    Mindful of truth ever exceeding our knowledge, and community ever exceeding our practice Reverently we covenant together, beginning with ourselves as we areTo share the strength of integrity and the heritage of the spiritIn the unending quest for wisdom and love.

    ~Walter Royal Jones, Jr., Reading #458 from Singing the Living TraditionChalice lighting

  • What is this workshop about?What does it mean to be in covenantal relationship?A little bit of historyWhat is a behavioral covenant?How do we begin to develop covenants?How do we develop congregational covenants? How do we live our covenants?

  • The Rabbis Gift - By Scott PeckWhat it means to live in Covenant.

  • What does it mean to be in covenantal relationship?

    What would it take for us to see the holy or the divine in each person with whom we tussle in congregational life?

    - Rev. Tom Owen-Towle Growing Beloved Community

  • What does it mean to be in covenantal relationship?

    Its about making respectful behavior the norm -- the way we do it here

    Its about good manners !

    It is about valuing our community and taking care of it by being respectful, by practicing respectful behavior with each other.

  • What does it mean to be in covenantal relationship?

    It means understanding that we truly are all in this together. So, it is a good investment to pay attention to how we treat each other how we behave.It is a good investment in caring for the community we cherish as well as the persons who are part of it.

  • Unitarian Universalist Congregations

    Are covenantal not creedal faith communities

  • A Little Bit of History

    We struggle with the concept of covenant - why?

    Where do our feelings come from?

  • Covenant - History - Abraham

    Blood pact between unequal parties.

    Sacrifice and submission.

  • Covenant - History - Moses

    God promises to protect the people, they promise to uphold his code of conduct.

    The ark of the covenant is the physical manifestation of the covenant between God and His people.

  • Covenant - History - Prophets

    Partnership between God and His people to finish creation.

  • Cambridge Platform 1648PolityYoure not the boss of me.We are all in this together,To work for a just and loving world.

  • Cambridge Platform 1648CovenantThe wonderful material that is used to build a house is not a house. We define ourselves. We agree to come together/We are more together than we are apart.By our works shall they know us.

  • Unitarian Universalist Association

    We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote

  • Unitarian Universalist Congregations

    Are covenantal not creedal faith communities

  • What is a behavioral covenant?A deep abiding promise between equals .To partner with each other and that which is bigger than ourselvesto work for a just and loving community.

  • What is a behavioral covenant?

    An understanding set down in a written document, agreed to and owned by its creators, and practiced on a daily basis as a spiritual discipline.

  • How do we begin to develop covenants?

    Behavioral covenants start with naming our common values, and with naming the value of good manners, and always startingwith ourselves.

  • How do we begin to develop covenants?

    Where do we begin?

    with Leadership- Boards and Staff

  • How do we begin to develop covenants?

    How? DiscussionDiscernmentDevelopmentPractice

  • How do we begin to develop covenants?

    Discussion - (the why) talking to one another about why we would do this, what is the purpose?

  • How do we begin to develop covenants?

    Discernment - (whats important)- what are the things we need to address ? what are the behaviors we want to model?

  • How do we begin to develop covenants?

    Development - (the words) What are words we will use? Wordsmithing to get it right - Reworking it and living with it and reworking it again.

  • Mid-South District Board CovenantWe come together as leaders in faith, embracingand honoring the many perspectives we bring. Gratefulfor the privilege of serving the people of the Mid-SouthDistrict, and mindful of our responsibility to be goodstewards of District resources, we covenant with oneanother to hold in reverence the religious communityof which we are a part and to promote, through ourservice, the saving message of Unitarian Universalism.

  • Mid-South District Board CovenantIn our work together, we promise to be fully present to one another, treating each person with dignity and respect. We promise to listen deeply, share openly, respect boundaries, and keep confidences, where appropriate. We will strive to remember those in and beyond our movement whose voices are not being heard. Where conflict arises, we will see opportunity to listen, learn and grow.

  • Mid-South District Board CovenantOurs will be an open process, responsive to the needs of the congregations we serve. We will take our roles, but not ourselves, seriously, leaving room for fellowship and fun. We will strive to stay on task, honor commitments, and not promise more than we can fulfill. We approach our work boldly, faithfully, and religiously, celebrating our milestones and challenging ourselves ever further.

  • Mid-South District Board Covenant

    In this spirit, we commit ourselves to serve together as able and creative leaders in the Mid-South District.

  • How do we begin to develop covenants?Practice A board or staff can practice and maintain a covenant byReading the covenant together regularly especially as meetings beginReminding each other of the covenant especially when sticky moments ariseTalking about the covenant with congregation members and others

  • How do we develop congregational covenants?

    After a time when leadership has struggled with what a covenant is and how it is best used - we may begin the process to develop a congregational covenant.

  • How do we develop congregational covenants?

    Using the same process:DiscussionDiscernmentDevelopmentPractice

  • How do we develop congregational covenants? DISCUSSIONCongregation meetings can explore the notion and value of having a covenant.The minister can include the concept in sermons.Special workshops can focus on covenant.

  • How do we develop congregational covenants?DISCERNMENT & DEVELOPMENT

    A special task force can provide leadership The leadership task force can invite ideas from the congregationThe leadership task force can draft some wordsThe congregation can discuss, amend and approve the words and vote to adopt the covenant!

  • How do we develop congregational covenants?PRACTICE.(the doing) Once the covenant is adopted

    Calling ourselves and each other back into covenant over and over.Letting our new members know that the covenant is part of the expectation of membership.This is the way we do it around here.

  • How do we live our covenants?

  • How do we live our covenants? Speak the Truth in Love A Covenant for Working TogetherSpeakingWe will speak for ourselves and not for othersthe TruthWe will speak only of our own experienceWe will speak as factually as possiblein LoveWe will speak honestly, with respect, and listen to understand

  • How do we live our covenants? Practice Deep Listening

    Listen to understand, not to prepare a response.Listening to understand does not require agreement.Concentrate on the other persons thoughts and feelings, not your own.Activate your holy curiosity about this persons interests.

  • How do we live our covenants?This is covenantal dialogue:

    Respond to others creatively rather than criticallyAffirm the merit in what you have heard.Share positive reactions before jumping to concerns, questions, or criticisms.Ask clarifying questions

  • How do we live our covenants?

    Seek to understand

    then to be understood

    St. Francis

  • How do we live our covenants?

    What doesnt work to nurture a sense of covenantal community?

    Confidential surveys or questionnaires

    Large public congregational meetings

    A hearing

  • How do we live covenants?

    We are adults.

    We can choose not to be offended.

    - Dr. Fred Luskin

  • Covenant

    A covenant is a tool not an end

  • How do we live our covenants?

    Some of the congregations here at this workshop have experience with developing covenants.

    Lets hear some stories.!

  • Unitarian Universalism striving to build communities where faith and tolerance coexist in harmony. Is this the way of the world?

  • Be a light unto the world!!!!

    Music plays.. Eunice walk through these.

    Add What it is not.This workshop is not about disruptive behavior policyNot directly about conflict managementConnie Eunice Eunice Eunice Eunice ConnieConnie Connie ConnieConnieConnieConnieConnie EuniceEunice Eunice Connie

    Leaders can begin this process

    The Board can develop a covenant.

    Staff members can develop covenants this often happens during times of transitioning with staff calling a new Minsterhiring a new staff personConnieSo, heres a process which leaders can use to develop a covenant:DiscussionDiscernmentDevelopmentPractice

    ConnieConnie

    We begin with a list of behaviors that we would like to become cultural norms.

    Such asWe will begin on time.We will come on time and prepared.We will listen deeply.We will act responsibly.We will be respectful.We will end on time.

    ConnieEunice read. We come together as leaders in faith, embracing and honoring the many perspectives we bring. Grateful for the privilege of serving the people of the Mid-South District, and mindful of our responsibility to be good stewards of District resources, we covenant with one another to hold in reverence the religious community of which we are a part and to promote, through our service, the saving message of Unitarian Universalism. In our work together, we promise to be fully present to one another, treating each person with dignity and respect. We promise to listen deeply, share openly, respect boundaries, and keep confidences, where appropriate. We will strive to remember those in and beyond our movement whose voices are not being heard. Where conflict arises, we will see opportunity to listen, learn and grow.Ours will be an open process, responsive to the needs of the congregations we serve. We will take our roles, but not ourselves, seriously, leaving room for fellowship and fun. We will strive to stay on task, honor commitments, and not promise more than we can fulfill. We approach our work boldly, faithfully, and religiously, celebrating our milestones and challenging ourselves ever further.In this spirit, we commit ourselves to serve together as able and creative

    We come together as leaders in faith, embracing and honoring the many perspectives we bring. Grateful for the privilege of serving the people of the Mid-South District, and mindful of our responsibility to be good stewards of District resources, we covenant with one another to hold in reverence the religious community of which we are a part and to promote, through our service, the saving message of Unitarian Universalism. In our work together, we promise to be fully present to one another, treating each person with dignity and respect. We promise to listen deeply, share openly, respect boundaries, and keep confidences, where appropriate. We will strive to remember those in and beyond our movement whose voices are not being heard. Where conflict arises, we will see opportunity to listen, learn and grow.Ours will be an open process, responsive to the needs of the congregations we serve. We will take our roles, but not ourselves, seriously, leaving room for fellowship and fun. We will strive to stay on task, honor commitments, and not promise more than we can fulfill. We approach our work boldly, faithfully, and religiously, celebrating our milestones and challenging ourselves ever further.In this spirit, we commit ourselves to serve together as able and creative

    We come together as leaders in faith, embracing and honoring the many perspectives we bring. Grateful for the privilege of serving the people of the Mid-South District, and mindful of our responsibility to be good stewards of District resources, we covenant with one another to hold in reverence the religious community of which we are a part and to promote, through our service, the saving message of Unitarian Universalism. In our work together, we promise to be fully present to one another, treating each person with dignity and respect. We promise to listen deeply, share openly, respect boundaries, and keep confidences, where appropriate. We will strive to remember those in and beyond our movement whose voices are not being heard. Where conflict arises, we will see opportunity to listen, learn and grow.Ours will be an open process, responsive to the needs of the congregations we serve. We will take our roles, but not ourselves, seriously, leaving room for fellowship and fun. We will strive to stay on task, honor commitments, and not promise more than we can fulfill. We approach our work boldly, faithfully, and religiously, celebrating our milestones and challenging ourselves ever further.In this spirit, we commit ourselves to serve together as able and creative

    We come together as leaders in faith, embracing and honoring the many perspectives we bring. Grateful for the privilege of serving the people of the Mid-South District, and mindful of our responsibility to be good stewards of District resources, we covenant with one another to hold in reverence the religious community of which we are a part and to promote, through our service, the saving message of Unitarian Universalism. In our work together, we promise to be fully present to one another, treating each person with dignity and respect. We promise to listen deeply, share openly, respect boundaries, and keep confidences, where appropriate. We will strive to remember those in and beyond our movement whose voices are not being heard. Where conflict arises, we will see opportunity to listen, learn and grow.Ours will be an open process, responsive to the needs of the congregations we serve. We will take our roles, but not ourselves, seriously, leaving room for fellowship and fun. We will strive to stay on task, honor commitments, and not promise more than we can fulfill. We approach our work boldly, faithfully, and religiously, celebrating our milestones and challenging ourselves ever further.In this spirit, we commit ourselves to serve together as able and creative Connie ConnieConnie Eunice Eunice Eunice

    ConnieConnieConnie Eunice Eunice Eunice ConnieConnie

    Discusion on it as a tool

    Look in the mirror and repeat after me we dont do that here

    Living tool

    Eunice and Connie Connie