St. Andrew’s Church Covenant of “Holy Manners”
Working Together as Church Leaders & Volunteers – Our Management Style
This covenant or agreement, is an adopted policy about how we want to work together to manage church activities and church business. It concerns a desire to develop a positive working atmosphere within the parish, including values of transparency, courtesy, clear communication and pastoral care. The covenant will address such subjects as participating in a group, how to handle disagreements, the importance of listening to one another, and the idea of making decisions by consensus.
The idea for a covenant originated from Bishop Sue Moxley, who drew it to the attention of the archdeacons. A document was produced at the 2011 Synod meeting in Halifax. Bishop Sue became aware of the idea from the Diocese of Huron (London ON), where the covenant originated as a solution to tensions in the congregation that were restricting the church’s ability to move forward. The covenant was called “Holy Manners”.
Holy Manners Covenant Document
Adopted: at the 8 September 2011 parish council meeting
We, the people of St. Andrew’s Church, seek to live in a caring, loving community as Christ teaches us. We make a covenant with one another prayerfully to live out the following principles:
- We promise to treat one another with the respect and dignity with which we would like to be treated.
- We promise to communicate with an open mind and heart; including using email and telephone. We intend to include everyone who needs to know in our communication.
- We promise to recognize a diversity of individuals and ideas among and within our congregation.
- We promise to keep differences and conflicts in perspective by praying to God.
- We promise to summon the courage to work with those with whom we have conflicts.
- We promise to be understanding, to forgive, and to seek reconciliation in times of disagreement.
- We promise to respect the boundaries of others – such as time, space and feelings.
- We will strive to sincerely welcome all people equally.
- We will make decisions by consensus, but only after all participants have voiced their opinions.
- Once a consensus has been reached, we promise to move forward, not hold grudges and to surrender to the majority view.
- Last but not least, we promise to keep life in perspective by preserving a sense of humour.