Why a Covenant for UCM?
This fall our church is developing a Covenant for ourselves. You may be wondering why we need an all-church covenant. Why now? Aren’t our Mission and Vision enough to say who we are? Our Vision is our picture of what we want to become in the world. Our Mission says why we are here — our purpose and what we want to be in the world.
Our Covenant will say how we want to be with one another. It is the commitment we will make to one another about how we will relate to each other within the church community. It can be the glue that will hold us together while we live our Mission in the world.
Our Mission and our Vision both emphasize that we are a church that wants to Welcome All. If we truly welcome all, there are going to be differences among us — difference of generations, cultural differences based on class or ethnicity, political differences, differences in how we think about money, or how we feel about the church building. Even now, we don’t all think alike. We wouldn’t want to be a congregation limited to people who think alike.
If someone has an opinion or a way of thinking that she senses is not widely shared, we don’t want her to feel she has to keep silent or seek another church community. We need to affirm that it is wonderful that we don’t all think alike. We need to be able to recognize and honor the differences among us while still holding onto our basic values.
We will build our covenant by thinking together about the basic values that underlie our community and what we each can expect from others who join our congregation. We want the Covenant to express what we all need to feel safe here, what we need to feel comfortable about speaking up when we disagree or don’t feel heard, and also what will help us to listen with an open heart. We want to be a community that can heal when there have been hurt feelings or conflict so we don’t have to be afraid to voice our passions.
Many other UU churches have covenants. Sometimes they call them Covenants of Right Relations. The covenant we adopt will be specific for our church. It will reflect what we hear from members in the listening sessions — Covenant Conversations. It will reflect the values that have shaped UCM from the past and the commitments we want to make as we grow together into the future. If you have questions or thoughts and are unable to attend one of the listening sessions, please contact a member of the Covenant Task Force: Gail.firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com (Pat Carstensen), firstname.lastname@example.org, VAMarie@aol.com (Ginny Sassaman).
Join a Covenant Conversation
- Sunday, November 11 after 9 am service (Bell Tower Room)
- Sunday, November 11 after 11 am service (Fireplace Room)
- Tuesday, November 13 at 6:30 pm, Vestry (with Women’s Alliance)