Unitarian Universalist Church of Belfast
CONGREGATIONAL COVENANT OF RIGHT RELATIONS
A covenant of right relations is an agreement to strive toward behavior that creates and maintains vibrant spiritual community—welcoming, safe, respectful, and compassionate. The covenant sets a higher standard than anyone can meet all of the time, but each individual’s willingness to aspire to these guidelines will strengthen relationships and build community within our congregation.
Our Unitarian Universalist principles affirm our individual worth and rights to engage in free and responsible searches for meaning and to exercise our own consciences. This and our humanity guarantee that we will, at times, have differences and conflict. Consciously practicing right relations will help us to avoid unnecessary conflict and to grow in caring and commitment when our differences deeply challenge us.
As members and friends of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Belfast, we agree to live and work with this covenant, revisiting it in the varied contexts of our church life.
In this spirit, we covenant:
1. To recognize that our church’s ministry runs through all we do.
2. To bring love, humor, and creativity to our work and celebrations.
3. To practice respect and compassion for all, including those whose beliefs or backgrounds differ from our own.
4. To foster hospitality, welcoming all members, friends, and visitors and encouraging them to engage in congregational activities, with hope that no one feels he or she is a stranger.
5. To respect and nurture our children and youth in their growth and explorations of values and beliefs, actively seeking ways to give to and receive from them.
6. To practice stewardship by giving of our time, talent, and treasure to our church, contributing to our larger community, and protecting the Earth.
7. To have faith in the goodness of others and acknowledge our own mistakes, recognizing that we all are imperfect and evolving, and practicing forgiveness.
8. To make room for healthy dissent, listening open-heartedly, talking with rather than about one another, staying engaged when in conflict, and seeking mediation from a third party when conflict cannot otherwise be resolved.
9. To express gratitude and support to our church’s staff and to members and friends who volunteer in our programs and governance.
10. As individuals, to examine frequently whether we stand in right relations with other members of our beloved community, taking personal responsibility for our feelings and actions.
This covenant was adopted by our congregation on December 12, 2012 and is subject to revision when the congregation calls for it.