We all know the right way to act with regard to interpersonal conversations, right? Well, what do you do when all of a sudden, the other person seems offended by something you did or said? Do you get defensive, express your anger at being misunderstood, seek allies for your own point of view, try to talk to the other person about what was going on, just bury the issue?
On the other hand, how do we react to when we feel hurt or accused? Do we strike back or try to clarify meaning and resolve the conflict?
We’ve all probably been in both positions at one time or another. Working it out can be stressful, but the benefits are immeasurable.
We believe in the individual’s right to freedom of expression. We come from so many different spiritual, theological, and secular places. Yet, our common humanity, social nature, and need for belonging are nurtured through caring relationships. We need them, yet they are a challenging privilege and we shouldn’t take them for granted. There’s a good deal of creative tension in upholding individual freedom and beloved community. How do we bond to serve our individual and mutual needs?
Words are important. Small talk is good, and sharing information about others can be helpful when not mean-spirited. Alternatively, taking the time for direct 1-on-1 conversation can be life-changing. What is “right” for building and deepening relationship?
We believe a Covenant of Right Relations (CRR) here at UUCC will help us in many ways. We have developed some general agreements with lots of examples on how it could work. We will post the document next week and we are hoping that together we can forge a document, a covenant, that we can all agree to and work on together. We hope all will try it out in our personal and congregational life and that each UUCC committee will adopt it. We will be looking for feedback as we work towards a final draft.
We plan to post the draft of the Covenant of Right Relations on Sunday, April 3! Stay tuned.
Robin Hessey (Co-chair), Charles (Scotty) Scott (Co-chair), Ned Tillman, Mark Brooks, Kevin Mercer (Board Liaison)