Covenant of Good Relations
In the covenantal tradition of Unitarian Universalism, we are a congregation that values diversity, and invites into the life of our religious community all those who support our purpose and principles, without regard to disability, age, ethnicity, race, or sexual orientation.
We, the members of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Salem, recognize that we are a religious community composed of many different people of different generations, bound together by our common, though individual, religious quests. We realize we have privileges as members of this religious community, and seek to protect those privileges by taking responsibility for our behavior and actions. Acknowledging our shared goals, we establish this covenant of good relations.
Member to Self
As a Unitarian Universalist, I am committed to my own individual spiritual growth and I support the spiritual search of others. As a member of this congregation, I will generously contribute my time and energy, and support the financial needs of this church in ways that will enhance my personal growth and give me the satisfaction of knowing that I am part of a larger community. As an individual, I will practice the UU principles in my daily life. Recognizingthat I am human and fallible, I will treat myself with kindness and respect, and keep a sense of humor.
Member to Member
Two keys to sustaining good relations among us are to treat others with respect and to accept responsibility for our own individual words and actions. I will give these my constant attention. I will honor the right of others to express their opinions, I will treat others with respect and honor their right to express their opinions, and I will have the courage to share my own perspective. If I give injury, even unintentionally, I will try to make amends and, if injured, I will try to manifest a spirit of forgiveness. In consideration for others, I will respect the decorum of the sanctuary and the worship service, and be mindful of others who may have needs or sensitivities different from my own. To prevent or resolve conflict, I will talk with people and not about them, assuming the good will of others. I will protect the confidences of others, respecting what may be considered personal. On the positive side, I will seek opportunities to give sincere praise. I will reach out to members and friends of the congregation of all generations, and be welcoming to newcomers. This includes recognizing and welcoming children’s participation in the life of the congregation and encouraging their spiritual growth and discovery.
Member to Minister
The minister and the minister’s family are an integral part of our religious community. I will treat them with dignity, respect, and consideration. I will nurture the minister by offering appropriate feedback and appreciation, and respect the minister’s religious beliefs. The minister has numerous responsibilities within and outside the church. I will encourage the minister’s personal and professional growth; respect the minister’s personal time and commitments within the church and to the community; and be aware of the contractual agreements with the congregation. When seeking to identify and resolve conflict, I will communicate directly with the minister or with the appropriate group representing the minister.
Member to Staff
Members of the staff sustain the functioning of this church. I will treat them with respect, plan ahead, and be clear in my requests. I will be aware of their workspace, equipment, and supplies. Further, I will express appreciation to the staff for their efforts. I will expect the staff to do only those things in their job description, and I will volunteer, as I can, to assist the paid staff. When I make my annual pledge, I will keep in mind the staffing needs of the church and support their fair compensation
Member to Board
Our board members deserve respect and appreciation for the time and efforts they devote to our congregation. I will offer my time, talents, and financial resources to help the board succeed in its service to the congregation, and will thoughtfully consider all board requests. When I have suggestions or concerns needing board action, I will speak directly to a board member, officer, or to the board. When presenting concerns or suggestions to the board, I will request a place on the board agenda and be timely with my comments. I also realize that I need to be aware of the congregation’s bylaws, policies and procedures, and budget.
Member to Community
As part of the larger UU community, I need to know about and support other UU congregations, the Pacific Northwest District, and the UUA programs and activities. Each of us should understand and support our congregation’s involvement in the UUA General Assembly, even if we are not personally involved.
As a member of this congregation, I will respect the partnerships that UUCS develops with other churches, and respect the minister’s involvement as our representative in interfaith organizations and community activities. I will be aware and supportive of my congregation’s efforts to select and implement community service projects, and promote social action programs. I will seek appropriate ways to inform others about issues or causes that are important to me.
As an individual, I will put my values into action by serving my community. I will openly acknowledge my affiliation with the UUCS, because it is important to me. I will speak in the community only for myself unless authorized by the board or the congregation.