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Ministerial Covenant Between Rev. Gretchen Haley and Sean Neil-Barron

As ministers embodying shared ministry with and to Foothills Unitarian Church, our covenant grounds us in our work to serve the movement of love through the mission of the church; orients us in our relationships towards one another and the Spirit; and releases us to grow in joy, faithfulness, and commitment to our Unitarian Universalist faith.

As colleagues, we covenant with one another to:

  • Support each other so that we might minister to this congregation and to others more joyfully, faithfully, and well;
  • Act always with the welfare of the congregation, the Unitarian Universalist ministry, the values and heritage of Unitarian Universalism, and the needs of the wider world in mind;
  • Respect and honor the perspectives, gifts, and skills that we each bring to ministry and the respective roles we each fill in the congregation, knowing we will be continually learning from each other as we create a safer and sacred space for all in the congregation;w
  • Keep the lines of communication open, letting honesty permeate all our interactions. Including sharing with each other all church concerns so that we can best minister in partnership to the whole congregation;  
  • Name and transform dynamics of identity, power, privilege and rank, that permeate our society, and thus our partnership and the congregation we serve, that would move us away from Belovedness;
  • Recognize Grace, and the presence of Spirit and the holy in our work;
  • Honor the interdependence of our work by being clear in our requests, cooperative in our work styles, and accountable for our responses;
  • Recognizing conflict is a healthy part of all communities, to facilitate constructive engagement with conflicts or differences of opinion, and to refrain from triangulation or the indirect support of triangulation; and to bring our concerns directly to one another whenever necessary, and to encourage church members to do the same;  
  • Carve out time together for depth, relationship building and connection across roles;
  • Act as each others Pastors in relation to our shared ministry
  • Meet together with a spiritual director or coach on a regular basis;
  • Continue to grow in faith and professional skills as individuals, and to support each other’s ongoing growth;
  • Be as fully present as possible with our doubts, fears and failings as well as our joys and successes;
    • When the going gets rough, we each pledge to turn to wonder.  If one of us feels judgmental or defensive, ask: “I wonder what brought them to this belief?”  “I wonder what he they are feeling right now?” “I wonder what my reaction teaches me about myself?”  We will set aside judgment so as to listen to the other and to ourselves more deeply;
  • We assume we will stumble at times and encounter challenges that test the well-intended explicit and implicit promises of this covenant.  When these challenges arise, we promise to turn to each other, and seek counsel from colleagues or designated consultants as we may need, to seek and offer forgiveness generously, to learn well from our experiences, and to begin again.  

We covenant to live these values and commitments with each other and with the entire congregation. Knowing that in time these commitments may change, we commit to revisit this living document regularly as we live into it in our work.  

Updated on September 12, 2018

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