Congregational and Staff Covenants
“We need not think alike to love alike.” One of our Unitarian Universalist ancestors, Francis David, spoke those words more than 400 years ago to describe the foundation of our unity as a religious community. The purpose of this covenant is to increase awareness of actions that each of us can take to nurture and support our beloved community. To this end, we, the people of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, affirm the following Covenant of Healthy Relationships:
We will be mindful of how we communicate with and about others.
We intend to:
- Listen actively and seek to understand the perspectives and opinions of others
- Use “I” statements when expressing our own views, always mindful that our thoughts and opinions may not be shared by others
- Be respectful and kind in our words, tone, and body language
- Use email and other forms of electronic communication with respect, kindness, and special care
We will seek a peaceful and constructive resolution process when conflicts arise.
We intend to:
- Communicate directly with the person or group involved, instead of gossiping or speaking negatively about others in the wider community
- Assume that others act with good intentions
- Check the accuracy of our perceptions and assumptions
- Be forgiving and loving when we or others make mistakes
- Apologize, when warranted, and seek to make amends
- Call on congregational resources when help is needed
We will celebrate the diversity within our community.
We intend to:
- Reach out to others with warmth and kindness in a spirit of welcome
- Recognize and honor the diversity of beliefs and spiritual paths within our community, including the words and ways people choose to express their spirituality
- Be curious, appreciative, and informed about perspectives that differ from our own
- Honor the contributions and needs of those who have been historically marginalized in the larger world and in our congregation, and seek growth in our ability to be welcoming
We will build the common good.
We intend to:
- Build mutual trust through an honest and responsible use of information
- Contribute our gifts of time, talents, and financial resources
- Encourage and support the involvement of everyone in the life of our congregation
- Express gratitude and appreciation for the contributions of others
- Respect the roles and responsibilities of congregational leaders
- Respect UUCA’s established policies and procedures
This Covenant of Healthy Relationships affirms the foundation of our unity at UUCA. Our commitment to one another ensures that our community will be a safe and inspirational place in which we, as individuals and groups, can live out our spiritual journeys.
UUCA Staff Covenant
Updated April 2014
We enter this covenant to cultivate and sustain creative and effective working relationships.
We, the staff of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, make the following commitments to each other:
A. We Commit to Work as a Team
- We affirm the gifts each staff person brings to the team and to their individual positions.
- We seek to support each other in fulfilling our varied responsibilities in positive ways.
- We welcome differences of opinion.
- We start from a place of curiosity and assume good intentions.
- We present a united front to the congregation.
- We acknowledge that perfectionism is an obstacle to growth.
B. We Foster Healthy Relationships
- Our model for handling complaints or concerns within the staff team or with congregants shall be:
- Ask the person to approach the staff member directly, and, as needed, help this person get clearer about the issue at hand; or,
- If helpful, offer to go with the person to speak to the staff member or congregant;
- Otherwise, the matter will be dropped.
- We deal in issues and behaviors, not personalities.
- We are generous with our gratitude for fellow staff.
- Triangulation is to be avoided
C. We Model Professionalism
- We maintain clear personal and professional boundaries while respecting the boundaries of others.
- We work respectfully with congregational leaders, remembering we are all on the same team.
- We uphold confidences and respect sensitive information.
D. We Commit to the Vision of Sustainability
- We make the best choices we can to be good stewards of our resources.
- We honor our limits of time and energy.
- We say “yes” whenever possible and “no” whenever necessary.
- We practice sustainable leadership and model a healthy work-life balance.