UUFSB Covenant of Right Relationship

We, members of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at Stony Brook, covenant in friendship to create a community in which respect, openness, trust and compassion guide our interactions in person, in electronic communication and on social media. This Covenant describes specific goals, based on our Unitarian Universalist principles and values, about how we wish to treat others and to be treated by others as committed participants in this congregation.

We build our community on a foundation of love, and covenant with one another to:

Practice Compassionate Connection

  • listen attentively to the stories and views, needs and feelings of others;
  • express ourselves honestly, with the goal of clear communication and mutual understanding, not of convincing others;
  • respond to others with compassion, curiosity, and respect;
  • take responsibility for the impact our actions and words may have on others, particularly those who do not share our frames of reference;
  • respect the emotional and physical boundaries set by other people, and communicate our own as clearly as we can.

Maintain Healthy Practices in Groups and Congregation

  • do our part to ensure that everyone present has opportunities to speak and be heard;
  • offer our gratitude and support for the contributions of others;
  • make and respect agreements around time, format, and focus;
  • speak up when we recognize speech or actions that we believe may be causing harm to others, particularly members of marginalized groups;
  • participate as we are able, and complete the tasks we have taken on; we will ask for help as needed.

Strengthen our Community by Widening the Circle

  • extend a warm welcome to newcomers;
  • build deeper relationships with each other in the Fellowship;
  • deepen our understanding of systemic oppression and white supremacy in the United States and work to dismantle them within ourselves and in our Fellowship;
  • be conscious of the impact our actions and words may have on others, aware that our intention in any situation is less important than the impact on others.

Work to Engage Conflict Constructively

  • welcome the opportunity for personal learning and spiritual growth that healthy conflict offers;
  • speak directly and honestly to the person or group that has hurt us, when we feel harmed;
  • acknowledge our defensiveness and prioritize the hurt experienced by the person or group that feels harmed, when we cause harm;
  • ask someone to come with us, if we don’t feel comfortable speaking directly to the person or group by ourselves;
  • engage in the Fellowship’s conflict resolution process if direct conversation does not restore right relationship.