Appendix A: Group Covenant
We invite you to agree as a group on what covenant best serves how you will share your experiences each week. We invite you each week to review the covenant and consider it as a blessing to help hold your time together as sacred.
You may want to incorporate the commitment to Create a Beloved Community that is being used by the Baltimore-Washington Conference:
- I will seek relationship because this is how Jesus lived.
- I will respect different forms of expression, understanding that I may not really know what is going on.
- I will examine my own assumptions and perceptions so that I might avoid projecting my cultural values onto others.
- I will assume positive intent as we are all moving onto perfection.
- I will listen for understanding because agreement is optional.
- I will exercise cultural humility, understanding that the world into which I was born is just one model of reality.
Here are some additional examples of the types of statements you might want to include in your Group Covenant.
- We will welcome the Spirit who offers transformation.
- We will use “I” statements speaking from our own experiences.
- We will center the experiences of those whose lives and voices have been marginalized, oppressed, or neglected by majority groups in our discussions.
- We will take accountability for what we each say and practice amnesty. We recognize that people can change deeply held convictions when a new position is presented in a way that makes sense to them, when they trust the person presenting another position, and when they are not blamed for trusting mis-information.
- We will step in and step out; giving one another the time and space to both listen and to speak.
- We will prioritize building and deepening relationships with each other.
- We will maintain confidentiality. If we appreciate something from someone else’s story, we will first receive their permission to share it. We will focus on what we have learned from their story.
- We will welcome discomfort because this is where growth happens.
- We will strive to take care of ourselves and to stay engaged in the entire study.