Holy Manners

Back in March, 2017, as the congregation was developing their new Mission, Vision and Values, we also created a ‘Behavioural Covenant‘ – a document to which we hold ourselves and each other accountable when we gather.

It may seem redundant that a Christian community needs a reminder, a set of guidelines, beyond, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…(and) love your neighbour as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:37-39); or even, “…love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)  But, it is good to be encouraged to reflect upon Jesus’ manner of relating to, and engaging, others.

When we gather to meet to discuss our faith and community life, with intention, we begin with Prayer and refer back to our “Holy Manners”.

Behavioural Covenant/Holy Manners

            We promise:

  • To keep God at the centre of everything we do:

In prayer, song, reflection, play and study

  • To welcome and encourage full and equal participation:

To seek to create a place where each feels respected

To affirm people’s rights to hold and express differing opinions

  • To honour time and space when we gather:

To allow time for personal processing and reflection

To speak to the issue at hand

To manage only one’s self, using personal power and authority appropriately, justly, compassionately

To listen carefully to each other without interruption

  • To learn about and practice healthy communication:

To seek and provide clear, honest communication

To be open to new ideas and not assume we have the necessary information

To offer and openly receive feedback with grace and humility

To speak to one’s own story and experience

To maintain confidentiality of other’s stories or experiences

To refrain from using or seeking third party input (gossip/triangulating)

  • To welcome constructive conflict as a creative process:

To first speak directly with the person(s) with whom we have an issue

To respond rather than react

To be curious rather than confrontational

To focus on the issue, not the person

To seek positive and collaborative resolution and/or reconciliation

  • To hold ourselves and each other accountable to honouring our Holy Manners:

To respect and uphold decisions made by the group

To trust the Spirit leads us and that we care for one another