The UUCF Covenant of Right Relations was approved by the congregation at its Jun. 2, 2019 Annual Meeting. In the summer of 2018, the UUCF Covenant of Right Relations Team was formed to gather input from the congregation on what promises should comprise a covenant to be adopted by UUCF. The UUCF Board of Directors affirmed the covenant before it was presented to the congregation. See below for details on the process of drafting the covenant.
We, the members and friends of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax, seek to create an atmosphere of honesty, respect, trust, gratitude, forgiveness, acceptance and loyalty within our congregation. Right relations are the foundation on which a safe and healthy congregation is based. To this end, we pledge to govern our actions and our speech by the spirit and letter of this covenant. We therefore promise to:
- Affirm and kindle the living spirit of which we are all a part.
- Listen with open hearts and open minds.
- Be present for each other in times of struggle and times of joy.
- Honor our commitments to ourselves and to each other.
- Give freely of our time, gifts and financial support as we are able.
- Acknowledge, respect and embrace our diverse experiences.
- Welcome, seek and foster deeper connections through mutual care and inclusion.
- Be mindful of the impact of our interactions on others.
- Engage with one another directly, honestly and respectfully.
- Acknowledge and accept our imperfections and begin again in love.
Process of Dafting the Covenant of Right Relations
The UUCF Covenant of Right Relations Team engaged the congregation in providing feedback on the formation of a covenant. Over about a year, the team performed the following tasks:
- Researched covenants adopted by other congregations similar in membership size to UUCF.
- Spoke with members of other congregations to learn their processes in forming a covenant of right relations (what worked, what didn’t work).
- Set up a table in the Commons on Sundays with information, brochures, feedback forms, etc., and encouraged feedback and participation from the congregation.
- Held in-person listening sessions to engage the congregation in the process of creating our covenant.
- Provided an online form for feedback from those who could not attend in-person listening sessions.
- Reviewed and evaluated all comments, suggestions and feedback from online and in-person listening sessions and created an initial draft Covenant of Right Relations.
- Posted the initial draft in the Commons along with space for the congregation to provide additional feedback, comments and suggestions.
- Posted the initial draft online so that those unable to access the draft in the Commons could provide feedback.
- Reviewed and evaluated all final feedback, comments and suggestions and incorporated them into the final Covenant of Right Relations.
A separate team has been formed to ensure that the covenant remains a living resource for the congregation. This team created a process by which problems will be addressed and resolved when the covenant has been breached.