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President's Monthly Column

June 2018          

A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT

Through conversations this past year the Board of Trustees came to the decision to enter into a covenanting process next year. They asked me to lead what will be a congregation-wide process.

Unitarian Universalism is a covenantal faith. Our relationship to each other is based on covenant, not creed. A covenant is not a contract – a 50/50 agreement or a quid pro quo. Rather, it is a 100/100 agreement, where we all work together giving all that we have to create something wonderful and meaningful together.

As Reverend Sue Phillips preached here at All Souls, “Covenant is the tapestry of sacred promises we make to ourselves…and each other on the journey of a faithful life.” Covenant is not just a noun – it is also a verb. Phillips went on to say that covenant is, “the process of making, practicing, failing at, and re-making those promises. Together.”

The phrase “right relationship” seems appropriate for this conversation and is strongly connected to our 7 Principles, perhaps most closely and specifically to the seventh Principle: “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.” One definition of what it means to be in right relationship comes from a sermon from the minister of the UU Church of Fairfax, Rev. David A. Miller: “Right Relationship is being in relationship with ourselves and all Life Forms around us . . . Being aware that what we think and what we do determines our world and what is in it. The truth is that what we think and what we do influences the future of our children, our planet and all things within it and on it. This concept . . . involves the knowledge that there is no such thing as separation – everything in our world is directly involved with us and we are involved with it. The key is that it is our choice to take responsibility for our thoughts and actions and relationships and focus on them being positive.”

Right relationship speaks to being in covenant with one another.

Know that this process will be congregation-wide, with the goal of including everyone in the conversation and experience. Once completed, it won’t sit on the shelf and gather dust; it will be an on-going and living promise that we share. Consider this article your first invitation to get involved.

I am excited about this opportunity. As I step down from the role of President, this seems like a natural progression in continuing my involvement in the life of All Souls.

With much love and hope for our shared future,

Liz Binger, President