In a process lasting several years, the Board of Deacons and others in the church leadership wrestled with questions of what expectations go along with active participation in the church community, whether as a member of First Parish or as a friend — that is, what covenant we commit to each other in this community. (Here is a printable version of the below.)
Commit to a life of meaning and purpose. Help to define and shape the mission and values of our church community. Embrace and allow ourselves to be shaped by them. Contribute to a social action cause or activity. Be a blessing to the world.
Come to the table. Attend Sunday services and other church events on a regular basis. Stay informed. Attend Circle Meetings. Engage in our democratic process — the health of our congregation depends on our active participation at Annual Meeting and other Special Meetings.
Help to keep things going. Volunteer to usher, greet, provide flowers, serve as Worship Leader, light the chalice for a Sunday service. Join a committee or working group, volunteer to work with children and youth in the RE Program, contribute to coffee hour, help with special events. Respond positively to requests for help, and honor your commitments.
Give generously. Consider an annual gift in the range of 1–3% of your income with the goal of growing in generosity over time. Volunteer goods or services to help us achieve our goals.
Discover, nurture, and share our spiritual selves. Cultivate our own spiritual practice. Reflect on our understanding of UU’ism and how it applies to our daily life. Explore and articulate our core values and beliefs. Support others on their spiritual journeys. Consider participating in a Small Group Ministry.
Foster the spiritual lives and development of our children. Nurture our children and youth as they grow in their spiritual and emotional development. Engage their minds, hearts and service in experiences grounded in our UU values. Provide opportunities to expand their sense of the sacred, share their stories and take an active role in our multi-age community.
Honor differences. Everyone is welcome at our table. Honor and express our own differences. Honor and encourage expression of the differences of others. Handle conflict responsibly by speaking directly to the person we have an issue with or ask for help in getting concerns addressed. Seek to become your best self at church. Practice compassion, patience, tolerance, humility and forgiveness.
Help to care for the members of this community. We all need the care of each other. Acknowledge individual “concerns and celebrations” with a kind word or a card. Make our willingness to help by providing meals, transportation, or other practical support known to the Caring Committee.