From The Minister’s Study – May 2020

covenant of right relations

As we enter the second month of this worldwide pandemic, we find ourselves adjusting from the immediate reactivity of the crisis into the endurance required of a long haul. As strange as it may seem, this initial period since we began physical distancing is known, according to scientific research, as the “honeymoon period”.

We have spent the last month being strong for each other, supporting each other, doing what needs to be done, even if it’s hard. And now, as the pandemic continues and we are faced with many questions and unknowns, especially about how long this will last, we are at risk of our anxiety and our fear projecting into our relationships with each other and influencing the choices we make — for the worst. Not being able to work out conflicts or disagreements in person only adds to this potential problem.

So this month I’m reminding us all of our congregational covenant of right relations:

We, the members of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Winnipeg, confirm our Covenant of Right Relations.

As members we seek to make our church a safe place for everyone.

We acknowledge that we are different from each other. We recognize that we are enriched by our diversity and that our differences will sometimes be a source of conflict. We acknowledge that we are all responsible for our own words and actions.

In this light we covenant to:

  • Nurture a safe and welcoming community.
  • Honour each other’s inherent worth.
  • Assume good will on the part of each other.
  • Listen to each other with care.
  • Speak to and about each other with respect.
  • Be honest with each other.
  • Talk directly to each other even if differences exist.
  • Ask for help when conflict is too difficult to handle alone.

Created and affirmed by our congregation, April 2013

This covenant is important not just between individuals, but also for the entire community. We must call each other back in, with love, when we witness behaviour that is out of covenant; the burden cannot lie solely with the one harmed. Only this way can we build and sustain a Beloved Community.