Covenant of Healthy Relations 2021 … at ucv.im/cohr2021

The Covenant of Healthy Relations – along with related procedures – covers three pages of a report approved by the UCV board in 2021. Those three pages are in a PDF file at ucv.im/cohr2021. The text of the covenant is on the first page. You can also read it below.

Covenant of Healthy Relations

This is a covenant to guide how we behave towards each other and to groups and individuals
within the congregation. The objective is to enhance a safe climate that is courteous, friendly,
supportive, respectful of others, open and honest.

Because I believe in the inherent worth and dignity of each person, I will endeavour to:

1. Be compassionate and supportive in my relationships with others, assume their best
intentions and be curious rather than judgmental.
2. Communicate with active listening and consideration. Explain concerns to the person
directly and share differences respectfully. Focus on the current problem – not the person.
3. Balance being open to new ideas with respect for our traditions.
4. Be attentive to our community’s needs, generous with my talents and careful with the
church’s resources.
5. Keep the big picture in mind, be patient with myself and others and stay engaged in the
process of change; participate in the decision-making and respect the decisions that are
made.
6. Discuss conflicts in our church in a way that respects the privacy and dignity of those
involved.
7. Recognize and praise others and myself for the work we do in the church and be
forgiving when we make mistakes.
8. Support, in a constructive way, the work of the minister, staff and congregants.
9. Deepen our connections by getting to know and understand people of all ages and points
of view within the congregation.
10. Nurture my own spiritual needs in this community and support others in their search for
truth and meaning.

Approved on November 27, 2005 by the Annual General Meeting of the Unitarian Church of Vancouver.

Note that you can go to the source of the above – a PDF file at ucv.im/cohr2021 – to check out the related procedures as well.

Covenant of Healthy Relations / site:vancouverunitarians.ca

Enter the title of this post as a search term in Google to get the results you can see here.

At or near the top is a PDF file you can print as a single page. It’s the covenant. And it’s here.

If you missed the service on Sunday, click on the date below:

2021-11-21 Paddling into the future (Rev. Samaya Oakley) / (!*) … see also: video (!*)

The above is a copy-paste from the list at ucv.im/sermons.

Anyhow, the sermon reminded us how important it is to have at hand a copy of the UCV Covenant of Healthy Relations and to look at it often. If you don’t have a copy of the covenant, you can print one now. Or just download the PDF. It’s here.

This UCV covenant is also at ucv.im/healthy.

Pair it with a copy of the recently introduced CUC Responsibility Covenant at ucv.im/responsibility.

 

PSA: check the list at ucv.im/sermons right after any service to see if the prepared text is already in the literature stall digital archive

 


The above is a lit stall post first published on November 24, 2021. The date now displayed with this post is the date of its latest material update.

The post shows up in the results of an internal search of this website for “Covenant of Healthy Relations” – as you can see here.

The featured image is a cropped screenshot of a Google search on November 24, 2021.

In the bulleted list below are the three latest posts tagged as lit stall posts.

If you haven’t read it already, please see the post about lit stall posts for more information.

Water Communion

This weekend is Water Communion – a chance to share our hopes for the coming year!

This important service will be online, but we’re not going to let that limit our opportunities for sharing and dreaming together. Here are three ways you can share what possibilities for connection you see emerging this year.

Online: You can use this form to participate in our online Water Communion.

Upload or drop off: You may choose to submit a video instead at ucv.im/upload or to drop off your jar of water with a note of words to share outside the church office before September 12th.

In person: On September 11th between 3 and 6 pm, just before the Family Picnic, there will be staff on campus to receive and video record your water sharing into the communal bowl.

As many congregations do, we will also take the time at this service to renew our Covenant of Healthy Relations. Ten UCV Leaders were asked to read one of the items. We hope you’ll follow along and perhaps even choose your favorite one, as those ten folk were asked to.

Download the Order of Service

*A correction to the order of service, the youth Calling and Releasing the Directions are: Rose Chernoff, Willem Oleksijczuk, Esmé Mac-Demers, and Hawk Demers

Rethinking Our Identity – Ministerial Transition Team

Rethinking Our Identity

Ministerial Transition Team

Sign up for a workshop to help rethink our identity – read on.

We have described the five phases of a ministerial transition in previous messages and presentations, but to put it most simply, we need to answer three key questions in this transition process:

  1. Where do we come from?
  2. Who are we?
  3. Where are we going?

 

  1. Where do we come from?

We spent the first months of our ministerial transition creating our Congregational History Wall to look at our heritage and our history and to remind ourselves of how this congregation has been shaped and formed.

  1. Who are we?

We are now in the process of rethinking our identity. The UUA’s Janus Workbook, created to support ministerial transitions, describes this transition phase as “illuminating the congregation’s unique identity, its strengths, its needs, and its challenges”. This is the most important step to complete in our ministerial transition before we search for a new settled minister.

  1. Where are we going?

As we rethink our identity we will envision the congregation we want to be(come) in our future. Determining where are we going includes reviewing our membership needs, how we are organized, and how we will develop new and effective leadership. This transition is ongoing throughout our interim period.

We began this work in the fall with the creation of three task forces:

  • The Organization Design Task Force recommended changes to our organizational structure that the Board has accepted and is implementing.
  • The Long Term Staffing Task Force recommended a new Congregational Administrator position, a new Congregational Membership Coordinator position, and expanding Kiersten Moore’s role to become Director of Lifespan Religious Exploration. The Board accepted all these recommendations and is implementing them.
  • The Young Persons Engagement Task Force presented its findings and shared them with the congregation.

The MTT will be providing support to the Board on the implementation of these task force recommendations.

In January, the MTT created, at the Board’s request, the Decision-Making Task Force to review the four year UCV site redevelopment decision-making process and to provide recommendations for future decision-making processes. This task force will report back in June and will include among its recommendations a more visible and prominent place for our congregationally approved Covenant of Healthy Relations.

Rethinking Our Identity

We plan to engage every UCV member in rethinking our identity. We are organizing 2 1/2 hour workshops based on Appreciative Inquiry principles, an approach to organization transition that focuses on moments of exceptional pride and performance and creates a future that nurtures and supports even more pride and performance. We will answer the question “Who are we?” by sharing our best and most powerful memories of our lives in this congregation.

The process to rethink our identity is based on a set of ‘thought-provoking questions’ (see below). We work in pairs in the workshop to share our responses to these questions and then reconvene in the larger workshop group to identify the common themes in our answers. We then imagine, based on these themes, some ‘possibility statements’ about who and what we would like to be, but that we have not yet achieved. Workshops generally have 6 or 8 participants, but we have also had success with 3 participants.

The workshop has been rewarding and meaningful for those who have participated. All have found it a worthwhile and enjoyable experience. Many appreciated the chance to see and talk to others in this congregation, something we have been missing during the pandemic. We will let you know when provincial guidelines will allow us to hold in-person workshops, probably on our UCV campus (even if outside only).

We will invite those who cannot participate in a workshop to review the thought-provoking questions with another person in a one-on-one interview. We want everyone to have a conversation with at least one other person about their answers to these questions. We will ask those who are not able to do this to respond individually to the thought-provoking questions.

Here is an abbreviated version of these questions:

  1. Reflecting on your entire experience at UCV, remember a time when you felt most engaged, alive, and motivated. Who was involved? What did you do? How did it feel? What happened?
  2. What are the healthiest, most life-giving aspects of the relationships among people at UCV? What would you say is most important about how we relate to each other? Give some examples of how we live together at our best.
  3. What are the most valuable aspects of our congregation’s worship? What makes your worship alive and meaningful? What shapes your Unitarian faith?
  4. What do you believe are the most important and meaningful elements of our congregation’s engagement with the local community, the nation, and the world?
  5. What are the most important things our Unitarian community has contributed to your life? Who or what made a difference?
  6. What are the most valuable ways you contribute to our congregation – your personality, your perspectives, your skills, your activities, your character? Give me some examples.
  7. What do you think is the most important, life-giving characteristic of our UCV congregation? What makes Unitarians or UCV unique?
  8. Make three wishes for the future of our Vancouver Unitarians congregation. Describe what this faith community would look like as these wishes come true.
  9. Is there anything else you would like to add?

We invite existing committees, teams, and groups in the congregation to contact us to organize a workshop with you.

We also invite individuals who are not part of any active groups in UCV to contact us and we will organize groups of 6 or 8 at a time that will be convenient for all participants.

Please also contact us if you have any questions or want more information about this transition process.

Rob Dainow (rdainow@gmail.com; 604-523-0123)  Vivian Davidson (vdavidsonc@gmail.com; 778-318-3713)  Marg Fletcher (mfletcher508@gmail.com; 778-772-1120)  Leslie Hill (lesliehill49@gmail.com; 604-321-7175)

May 2021 Message from Board President

Dear Unitarian Friends,

Happy Asian Heritage Month! I encourage you all to visit the Alliance For Arts and Culture website to find out about resources and upcoming events for those looking to learn about and celebrate the legacy of Asian Canadians both past and present.

Speaking of learning, our Decolonizing Practices Workshop for staff, board and membership was a ground breaking first step on a long, fulsome journey for this organization. In the months ahead and throughout next year, there will be more anti-racist and anti-oppression engagement so stay tuned!

As you know, the Board recently approved a new Organizational Design that will clarify lines of communication and accountability for everyone. It also frees up the Board to become a more Strategic Board as opposed to a Liason Board. The most significant difference is that the job of the Board – to further the mission and vision of the congregation – will now be their top priority. Management oversight of day to day operations will be the responsibility of a small body made up of Board and staff. Our fabulous new Congregational Administrator Casey Wallace along with HR is in the process of hiring our new Membership Outreach Coordinator. This role was created as part of our new org design as well.

Speaking of things a Strategic Board does, we created a UCV Task Force for Sanctuary Upgrades and hired two professionals in technical theatre to work with them who will ensure that this massive task is done well, on time, and within budget. The upgrades to our sound and lighting systems and chairs replacing pews will make our Sanctuary more flexible and thus inclusive to diverse spiritual practices (walking meditation, circle dance), artistic expression (jazz/choral groups, cabaret fundraisers, writers festival venue,) and wheelchair accessibility.

The Board recently refreshed and strengthened our commitment to our Covenant of Healthy Relations and adopted a new policy around disruptive behaviour. Please take a moment to read the Covenant below and remember to be kind. Covid has taken a toll on everyone, and we must remember to breathe and think before we act.

Finally, I would just like to reiterate how in awe I am of our membership and the energy and commitment we continue to exert toward furthering our values and principles. From lovingly tended gardens on our campus to refugees being sponsored to wild salmon being defended in partnership with First Nations, Vancouver Unitarians can and are changing the world, helping to transform it into a more compassionate and equitable one. Meaningful action creates hope. So stay actively engaged, fellow Unitarians, and take care. We will gather in person again soon.

In hope and faith,

Diane

Covenant of Healthy Relations
This is a covenant to guide how we behave towards each other and to groups and individuals within the congregation. The objective is to enhance a safe climate that is courteous, friendly, supportive, respectful of others, open and honest.
Because I believe in the inherent worth and dignity of each person, I will endeavour to:
1. Be compassionate and supportive in my relationships with others, assume their best intentions and be curious rather than judgmental.
2. Communicate with active listening and consideration. Explain concerns to the person directly and share differences respectfully. Focus on the current problem – not the person.
3. Balance being open to new ideas with respect for our traditions.
4. Be attentive to our community’s needs, generous with my talents and careful with the church’s resources.
5. Keep the big picture in mind, be patient with myself and others and stay engaged in the process of change; participate in the decision-making and respect the decisions that are made.
6. Discuss conflicts in our church in a way that respects the privacy and dignity of those involved.
7. Recognize and praise others and myself for the work we do in the church and be forgiving when we make mistakes.
8. Support, in a constructive way, the work of the minister, staff and congregants.
9. Deepen our connections by getting to know and understand people of all ages and points of view within the congregation.
10. Nurture my own spiritual needs in this community and support others in their search for truth and meaning.

 

Big Decisions ➔ Big Impact: UCV’s Decision-Making Task Force 

UCV spent four years carefully researching redevelopment options for our property and seeking input from congregants before deciding through our democratic vote at the November 2020 AGM to not proceed with any property redevelopment at this time. The Redevelopment Committee and the Board took many steps to ensure a fair and inclusive process. Along the way there were passionate expressions and inevitable questions and concerns, along with appreciations of the efforts and care taken by those involved.

Following this AGM vote to not proceed with redevelopment, the Board asked the Ministerial Transition Team (MTT) to create a task force to gather input about this long and complex process and to prepare a report with recommendations for future decision-making. The Decision-Making Task Force (DMTF) was launched in January 2021. The DMTF will also look at how well the congregation followed our established Covenant of Healthy Relations during this lengthy process and make recommendations about how we can make this Covenant a living document.

The members of the Task Force want to hear from you if you have specific concerns or kudos about the redevelopment decision-making process (not about the result of the actual vote). By process we include the actions of the Redevelopment Committee, the Board, other committees, the congregation at large, and any others who may have had some influence. For example, what were the strengths of the process? Were there aspects that were concerning or not clear enough, and/or areas requiring more support?  What lessons can we learn from this experience to apply in future high-stakes decision-making processes at UCV?

Please contact us at dmtf@vancouverunitarians.ca and we will arrange for an interview.

The DMTF (Nancy Barker, Cindy Cashin, Rob Dainow, Leslie Kemp, Michael O’Neil, John Smith)

Governance

The challenge and power of governance belongs to the congregation.

Together, members participate in the democratic process to determine the direction, budget, and priorities of the congregation. In that process members follow a Simplified Roberts Rules of Order For more information visit: wikipedia.org link to Robert Rules of Order

We are a fully self-supporting, non-profit organization. This congregational polity is a cornerstone of Unitarian history and is treasured as both a right and a duty.

View recent posts:

How to present an idea to your board

Board meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month. To have items added to the agenda information must be received by the Friday preceding the Board meeting. Send to Board Secretary. Information should include committee or group endorsement/s, financial implications, requests for congregational resources such as use of space, staff, publicity etc. Ideally include minutes from the committee meeting where the proposal was discussed with a list of members who are in support.

Relevant Documents

Covenant of Healthy Relations approved

Healthy Relations Procedures

Bylaws of the Unitarian Church of Vancouver (dated 19 Sept 2021)

   News from Board of Trustees   

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting is held in Hewett Centre usually in November. The Board of Trustees reports on the church year just ended and new board members are elected to replace retiring members.

The notice of meeting, nominating committee report, recommended board slate and proxy forms are emailed to all members as PDF files approximately one month prior to an AGM.

FAQ

Who can vote?

Members who have joined 90 days prior or more can vote.

Who can attend?

We welcome anyone who is interested in attending including associate members (12 years and older)

What if I can’t be there?

You can submit a proxy form by email or sign and send with the member who will vote on your behalf. You can put two names on the form. Each member can only hold one proxy vote. So in the event the first person on your list already is voting on behalf of someone else or is not able to attend, you will still be represented.

Just cut and paste this into an email addressed to ca@vancouverunitarians.ca with copy to ucvsecretary@gmail.com, board secretary and send from the email address that we have on file for you.

Unitarian Church of Vancouver – Proxy

The undersigned hereby appoints
[Name] ___________of  [City] _________

or failing them

[Name] __________________of  [City] ___________

as proxyholder for the undersigned to attend and vote for and on behalf of the undersigned at the Annual General Meeting of the Unitarian Church of Vancouver to be held on the 24th day of November, 2019, and at any adjournment of that meeting.

Signed this ____ day of ___________, 2019.

Member’s Full name:

UCV Bylaw 36:

Each member shall have one vote and votes shall be cast either in person or by written proxy. No person present may cast more than one proxy vote and no person shall be entitled to vote as a proxy unless such person is qualified by membership to vote in his or her own right at the meeting at which he or she acts as proxy.

Annual Reports

The annual report lets members know what has been done during the year, both within the congregation and in the wider community, by the minister, the staff, and the many committees and groups. It also reports on the organizations sharing the UCV facilities. It’s an interesting read. Highly recommended.

Extraordinary General Meeting

A one-hour extraordinary general meeting is usually scheduled for June of each year to approve the proposed budget for the new fiscal year. All members are invited. Members who cannot attend are asked to send in a proxy form.

All members are emailed the proposed budget and a proxy form before the meeting. The proxy can be turned in to the office or given to an attending member. It can also be emailed; see above.