Right Relations Covenant

Right Relations Covenant of the

First Unitarian Church of San José

The First Unitarian Church of San Jose is a faith community grounded in an affirmation of shared values, rather than a creed or doctrinal statement of belief. The Right Relations Covenant guides us as we strive to bring our best selves to fulfill the church’s mission, “To make Love visible in all we say and do.”  Through its intentions, this Covenant outlines the actions each of us can take to foster harmony, build relationships, and support the growth of our beloved community.

With this in mind, the congregation of the First Unitarian Church of San Jose affirms the following:

We intend to be mindful of how we communicate with others and will:

  • Reach out to others with warmth and kindness
  • Be respectful and considerate in our words, tone, and body language
  • Use “I” statements when expressing individual views: I think … I believe … I wonder … 
  • Practice “deep listening.” That means listening to understand; practicing mutual respect; and avoiding interruptions, overtalking one another, threats or directed anger
  • Ask for permission before any form of touching (including hugs), as we do not know the past traumas that unwanted touching may evoke
  • Maintain such mindfulness when communicating with community members through email and other electronic platforms

When conflicts arise, we intend to pursue a peaceful and constructive resolution process that:

  • Assumes others act with good intentions which might not be fully expressed
  • Honors the many diversities represented in our congregation and amongst visitors
  • Empowers each person to communicate openly and directly with the person or group in question, our Right Relations Team, or our Minister, rather than engaging in gossip or speaking negatively with others
  • Encourages verifying the accuracy of our perceptions and assumptions
  • Seeks forgiveness and extends love when we or others make mistakes
  • Acknowledges errors, seeks improvement, makes amends, and begins again in love

Voted and adopted by the congregation on 24 March 2024.