Many of you are familiar with the practice of creating covenants for our work together at First Church. A covenant is a promise of how we intend to treat each other in this religious community filled with aspirations for just, peaceful and transformative relationships. Covenantal relationship is a foundation of our faith, cleverly expressed in the phrase that Unitarian Universalists are about “deeds, not creeds.”
At First Church, we have classroom covenants for all ages in Religious Education, Theme Circle covenants, Social Justice Council covenant, Board of Trustees covenant, and a staff covenant published next to our staff photos. Our ministers also work together steeped in a covenantal relationship. Our ministerial covenant is a promise that guides us into the practice of integrity—with each other, with you, and with the living tradition of our religion.
Since Kimberlee joined our staff as Director of Religious Education in August, Jennifer and I have intentionally begun building our relationship with Kimberlee as a ministry team. An essential part of that process was a conversation to create our covenant, learning about how we wish to be treated, and how we will come back into the right relationship when we inevitably make mistakes.
Large congregations often have multi-minister teams and we benefit from the work of others who crafted their promises into words. You can read the latest rendition of the First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee’s Ministerial Covenant on our church website here: uumilwaukee.org/policies-andprocedures.