Our RE Covenant
As part of the 2019-2020 First Parish year, all the Religious Education participants have covenanted as follows:
The RE Covenant
We will speak words that lift each other up
We will respect people’s ideas
We will not speak over each other
We will be inclusive to all
We will be kind and seek to do the right thing
We will hold each other accountable and challenge each other to be our better selves
We will be open so we teach and learn from each other
We will be aware of our growth areas and support each other to get there
We will seek truth and be honest
We will work to make sure everyone has a voice
We will invite everyone into conversation
We will ask questions about unjust systems
We will appreciate everyone’s qualities
The RE Team Covenant, 2019-2020:
We will recognize that perfectionism/being our own worst critic does not help or advance the work.
We will seek active communal learning over perfectionism.
We will celebrate mistakes as learning opportunities; affirm that we are all learning together, and all of us have a great deal of learning still to do.
We will regularly discuss and plan for what it means to set and achieve goals of inclusivity and diversity.
We will pay deep attention to and reflect on how much time things take, and set realistic goals.
We will value those who are present, and work to shift a framework from “we need more people” to “how can we deepen our sense of community together, and provide more opportunities to genuinely be together.”
We will affirm the strengths and growth areas of the children present.
We will work to recognize the contributions and skills of everyone.
We will focus on building quality and depth of relationships.
We will be transparent about decision making processes; invite collective decision making as often as is possible
Above additions inspired by “White Supremacy Culture” reading by Tema Okun
Lucas will send lesson plans to Sunday School teachers by Wednesday of the week those teachers are leading classes.
Teachers will offer feedback on lesson plans (if any) by Friday of that same week, to give Lucas time to tweak.
Lucas will be responsible for providing materials for lessons when needed.
On Sundays when teaching, teachers agree to arrive by 10:30 AM.
After each RE session, teachers and Lucas will have a 10-15 minute “debrief” on how the session went. These debriefs will include a general check-in with teachers (ie, sharing joys and sorrows in our own personal lives).
Teachers will give Lucas a 2 week notice if they will be away for a Sunday they are scheduled to teach.
Classes will begin after Time for All Ages and end at 12:05 (this gives time for the service to end, and sets a clear expectation for when classes end)
Throughout the year, we actively seek ways to teach diversity and teach Universalism.
Each lesson plan will explicitly say what principle we are focusing on that day.
There will be visual reminders of the principles in the classrooms.
We will practice active and engaged listening with each other.
We will encourage other congregants to help, and we will ask for help when needed.
We will impart on the children that they are responsible for the space (cleaning up the space will be included at the end of each RE Session).
Each room will have an “order of service”
The building of relationship and covenantal agreements do not end upon exiting Sunday School.
We will check-in on an individual level to note where we are growing spiritually in this work.
We will check in again with each other in the middle of the church year to see how everyone is doing/what their thoughts and commitments might be for the rest of the year.
We will assume that this covenant is a living document.