If you weren’t able to be present for the conversation on Sunday, Nov 20, 2022, consider this recap. That’s how you can stay looped in!
Twenty-four folks gathered with the Transition Team for a conversation about covenant. We again used a format for deeply listening that allows YOU to hear EACH OTHER so that you might better understand how to coexist as diverse individuals within a community of meaning.
We are a covenantal faith. In the words of Lisa Ward, covenant claims: “I will abide with you in this common endeavor; be present as best I can in our becoming.” So, a covenant is a promise to stick together, and it also provides a common understanding of why and how we’ll keep that promise. A covenant invites relationship in an ever-evolving ‘dance of co-creation.’
We spent time talking about how we are connected, and why those connections matter. We shared stories of times our hearts had been broken because of unmet expectations. We listened to covenants created by this congregation and by other groups. And, we wrote on sticky notes those ‘shimmering words’ or ‘sparkling phrases’ that captured our imagination about the power of covenant. (If you’re at UUCW before Dec 2, you can see all those sticky notes on a board in the community room.)
At the end of our time together, each person wrote a pledge. These are captured below verbatim (similar commitments have been grouped together under somewhat arbitrary captions.) Those statements began with these words: I promise/covenant with my UUCW community that I will:
- Be guided by the spirit of love in my actions
- Be compassionate and seek to understand other’s truths
- Treat others with respect
- Remind myself daily that each relationship is sacred, and act as if that’s true
- Come to the work from a place of love
- Surround you in love and acceptance
- Honor you and all that is of our home, the earth.
- Develop a culture of belonging
- Be honest, but temper it with kindness
- Be open and honest as we journey together during this time of wonder, change, and possibility
- Be honest and accepting
- Be honest and hopefully truthful
- Act with integrity
- Act with intention and commitment
- Hold myself accountable with I have the power/privileges not to abuse it.
- Act with intention
- Open my mind and heart with the hope to learn and grow and to seek truth and justice.
- Challenge injustice
- Act in the larger community
- Work toward sustainability
- Hold myself accountable for ensuring that all voices are heard, especially those with marginalized identities, and advocate for those voices
- Challenge injustices and work towards dismantling white supremacy culture – to take action and not just talk
- Work intentionally toward our goal of fighting injustice (both within and without) and serving our community for the betterment of all
- Continue my social justice work within the church and in the larger community, and ask others to join me
- Intentionally move toward community involvement
- Contribute to the church community and the greater good
- Put the needs of this beloved community before my own personal needs
- Be actively engaged to help grow our beloved community
- Contribute in listening, speaking, and
- Maintain my financial and spiritual support
- Look for opportunities to contribute when I have a relevant skill
- Participate in living our values and re-examine our priorities going forward
- Remain engaged and do the work necessary to build a stronger community…one more able to live its values
- To be more involved and engage on a monthly and weekly basis
- Show up to do the hard work with kind words and honesty, and to show up even through hard times and divisiveness
- Continue my faithfulness to uphold its ideals and increase my actions in the church and the wider community
- Be present and authentic
- Be present and positive
- Be present, and engage
- Share my love of life, my wealth, my energy, my good fortune, my bad experience (Joys and concerns)
- Keep walking with you in good times and bad
- Show up (fully) when you need a helping hand or a caring heart
- Be present when I show up
- Be actively present with respect for all
- Engage in deep listening especially when I may have a different viewpoint/opinion
- Listen and make known any concerns, both positive and negative to growth
- Listen with an open mind and heart
- Listen to you and treat you with compassion and respect
Several of those present expressed the need for an explicit covenant that is visible and often repeated. What do you think? What are you willing to promise this community?
Interim Ministry focuses on five areas of congregational life: UUCW’s history, how leadership evolves and governs, this congregation’s place in the wider UU world, at who and what UUCW wants to be, and how to move forward. The success of this interim time depends on your engagement with these questions, and your willingness to be both vulnerable and open to unfolding possibilities.
Working with the Transitions Team, I will be facilitating many such conversations with all of you, using this format, or something different. Whatever the topic and whatever the format, the goal will be to create opportunities for you to share and listen, so that this process includes as many UUCW voices as possible. In other words, your participation matters.
I’ll do my best to keep you all looped into what’s happening, and trust that you’ll do your part to ensure that your voice and presence are woven into the evolving fabric of this congregation.
That we may be deeply connected,