Covenant is a unconditional part of Congregational Polity and the Free Church. Where creeds or doctrines hold other faiths together, we are held together by our promises to one another. “Covenant” is Latin for “come together” and means a “solemn agreement” or “promise from the heart” regarding a course of action between parties.
Many congregations have Covenants of Right Relations which help clarify expectations and creating a safe environment for congregations. But our congregational covenants also have a purpose essential to the practice of Unitarian Universalism — covenants are a deep, abiding promise between equals to partner with each other and that which is bigger than ourselves to work for a just and loving world.
In other words,
- What are our most important shared loyalties and commitments?
- What do we promise to one another as we serve
- How are we to be together as a faith community?
- How do we explicitly express our relationship with one another and with the object of our shared ultimate commitment?
Creating a covenant is something that each congregation has to do for itself.
Covenants of GMUUC
- GMUUC Covenant for Building Community
- Minister’s Covenant with GMUUC Congregation
- Minister’s Covenant with the GMUUC Board
- Board Covenant
- Summary of GMUUC’s 2013 Covenant Development Process
Covenant of Right Relations
- Actively listen to each other, employ flexibility toward differing opinions and thought, using honest, non-hurtful language.
- Respect each other’s inherent worth and dignity in accordance with the principles of the UUA.
- Honor and utilize existing systems for conflict resolution (e.g. Board of Trustees, Bylaws, Committee on Ministry) and continually re-educate ourselves on these processes as necessary.
- Accept mutual responsibility of expressing and honoring personal boundaries.
- Address concerns directly, promptly and personally in a manner that promotes mutual respect and avoids triangulation.
- Accept tasks responsibly and positively and seek help if needed.
- Continue to promote our church and welcome newcomers.
- Be mindful that individually and collectively we are representatives of the Georgia Mountains Unitarian Universalist Church and the Unitarian Universalist Association and conduct ourselves in public events, small and large, in concert with our principles and covenants.