This group covenant is a combination of two resources: "Conversation Toward a Social Statement: Faith, Women, & Sexism", and Dialogues on Race Facilitator Guide. It is not all-encompassing or the only way of being in community, but does give us a common framework for entering into courageous conversations and covententing to be in this work together. Please read and sign this covenant by submitting your name at the end.
- Listen respectfully and carefully to others. This is your best way to begin to understand them and to keep the “public space” of this conversation safe for candid conversation. Listening helps bring out differences and helps to probe for shared values and positions.
- Speak honestly about your thoughts and feelings. Personal thoughts, feelings, values and experiences are as legitimate a part of the conversation as factual information.
- Speak for yourself, only; use “I-statements” rather than “you-statements.” Likewise, it is not fair to expect other conversation partners to represent a whole group. Remember that they are only speaking for themselves.
- Stay open to new perspectives and trust that the Holy Spirit is present in the conversation.
- Embrace the messiness. These are hard conversations. Expect to be wrong, expect that others will make mistakes, know that loose ends will be present, and the work will be unfinished at the end. You are encouraged to ask clarifying questions and disagree while offering abundant grace as we learn together.
- Attend to your own health and self-care. Make a plan for self-care and time for prayer throughout the week as we enter into challenging conversation. Lean on colleagues and your check-in group for support.
- Help keep the discussion focused by sticking to the subject at hand.
- Maintain confidentiality about matters people share with the group. This helps to build and maintain trust.
- Commit giving and receiving feedback with openness and grace. Work to stay grounded and open when receiving feedback, using your journal and/or check-in group to process and unpack. Particularly for white folks: be willing to hold one another accountable in learning together. In these brave spaces, white folks must point out where privilege and biases show up for sake of learning and doing better.