The Mission of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Swannanoa Valley is to create an open, active, and welcoming liberal religious community that:
- nurtures spirituality,
- inspires growth and learning in the search for truth, and
- challenges us to live our values conscientiously through service and example.
We covenant among ourselves and with the larger community to:
- explore the meaning of Unitarianism and Universalism in our lives as expressed in our covenant with the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association;
- support and encourage each other with compassion and vision;
- engage each other honestly and courageously;
- promote and celebrate diversity;
- express our curiosity, joy, and enthusiasm, grief, and love;
- contribute our resources including time, talent, and money; and
- live our values through service to one another, our community, and the world.
Our Covenant with our Minister
What we expect of our Minister
- Our minister provides compassionate pastoral care and visits congregants unable to attend church. She/he guides congregants through their personal issues and serves as a caring resource for referrals. The minister maintains confidentiality and a professional manner, working with the Congregational Care Team when appropriate to share needs of others.
- Our minister facilitates the spiritual growth of both individuals and of the congregation as a whole by offering inspiring and thought provoking sermons. His/her sermons have wit and gravitas, draw from eclectic sources, and offer practical guidance to daily living.
- Our minister is our inspirational leader. He/she sets a tone that is harmonious with the realities, goals and spiritual aspirations of our congregation. In all aspects of the life of our church our minister fosters a climate of cooperation and love.
- Our minister encourages us all to live the Seven Unitarian Universalist Principles both in the life of UUCSV and in the larger community.
- Our minister offers leadership guidance to the Board of Trustees, committee leaders and staff. She/he participates in the administrative function of UUCSV. The minister maintains a professional relationship with all congregants. The minister also maintains regular and direct interactions with our children and youth.
- Our minister challenges us as individuals and as a congregation to grow spiritually and to support each others’ growth. The minister continuously encourages us to be fully involved in the life of the church and involved in the improving the health of our community and the world.
- Our minister represents Unitarian Universalist values with integrity in the larger community. He/she initiates outreach activities and collaborates with other churches, while developing and supporting UUCSV congregants as fellow ministers in the world.
What We Congregants Expect From Ourselves
- We pledge to live our Eight Unitarian Universalist Principles both within UUCSV and in the larger community through active service and ministering to others.
- We make visitors welcome through our attention and warmth.
- We communicate respectfully, honestly, lovingly and directly with the minister and with each other. Because ours is a free church and pulpit we all bear responsibility and accountability for what we say or do in community on behalf of our church. We model integrity by directly communicating with any person(s) with whom we are concerned. We especially make sure to communicate in person when dealing with sensitive matters.
- We pledge our time, talent, and treasure to UUCSV as generously as we can and abide by those pledges. We volunteer in the many areas essential to the church.
- We further engage in the life of UUCSV by our presence, our participation, and our connections with one another. And we remember to thank those who help keep UUCSV running smoothly.
- We support the minister’s work with an open mind and heart. We understand that the minister is human and we have realistic expectations of her/him. We respect the minister’s time by making an appointment and bring to him/her only those concerns that involve the minister directly and not the purview of a UUCSV committee.
- We put the welfare of UUCSV above individual preferences.
- We respect and trust our elected leaders to make sound decisions on behalf of UUCSV. We own our ideas and suggestions about improving our church. When doing so, we not only raise concerns but also provide suggestions for making things better and provide direct help in implementing any changes.
- We commit to searching our own lives for areas that need improvement. We choose to risk being uncomfortable when the need arises to try something new.
- We share our spiritual desires, interests, and needs with the minister and with each other. We also share our experiences, perspectives, and wisdom gained from a wide variety of traditions. And we remain open to other faith traditions.
By accepting this mutual covenant, we pledge to do our best to live by it. We walk the talk of this covenant, holding ourselves accountable for this covenant by seeking, living, and remaining in community with each other. (Adopted February 22, 2015)