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Creating beloved community requires intention and practice. Our covenants articulate our intention, but how do we live into the practice? Right Relations Teams are lay leaders entrusted to help the congregation practice faithful communication and creative conflict based on values of mutuality and consent.  

This training is for congregational teams who will be helping their congregations (or other covenantal communities) live into their covenants. 

This is an invitation-only program at this time. Contact your UUA Congregational Life representative for more information.

Sample of Right Relation Team Pilot Training Application (pdf)

Right Relationship Teams are still a fairly new concept within congregations. It has been common for some time that a Committee on Shared Ministry be tasked with addressing conflict as it rises. However, the skill-set and orientation required for the kind of balcony view analysis and evaluation does not always translate to the kind of skill set and orientation required for covenant tending and conflict engagement. Ideally, a congregation would separate those out into two different teams: Committee on Shared Ministry and Right Relationship Team.

Right Relations Teams are lay leaders entrusted to help the congregation practice faithful communication and creative conflict based on values of mutuality and consent.  Their roles can include

  • Tending to the covenant by articulating and modeling its practice
  • Provide training and other learning opportunities around the tensions needed for creativity in congregations
  • Model and coach communication processes that promote mutuality and consent (i.e. small group ministry, discernment circles)
  • Model and coach creative conflict
  • In low level conflict, create brave spaces where people can move from defensiveness toward resolution
  • When conflict does become more heated, they also can offer opportunities for deep listening and restorative processes.
  • Create low-anxiety/high-learning experiences for the congregation around conflict and covenant

The members of your Right Relations team should be:

  • A practitioner of deep listening
  • Able to manage their own reactivity when under pressure
  • Able to avoid being triangulated into the conflicts of others
  • Patient around process and outcomes
  • Humble about their role as facilitating process, not fixing
  • Able to see the big picture
  • Able to hold multiple perspectives
  • Trusted and respected by the community
  • Sensitive to power inequities and oppression dynamics
  • Willing to learn
  • Well-grounded in Unitarian Universalism
  • Committed to the mission of the congregation and not a personal agenda

Team members taking this training are expected to attend all of the 90-minute-long live sessions. 

Saturday, February 19, 2022:   10am PST – 11am MST – 12pm CST – 1pm EST
Saturday, March 19, 2022:   10am PDT – 11am MDT – 12pm CDT – 1pm EDT
Saturday, April 16, 2022:   10am PDT – 11am MDT – 12pm CDT – 1pm EDT
Saturday, May 14, 2022:   10am PDT – 11am MDT – 12pm CDT – 1pm EDT

This training has been assembled by UUA staff with years of experience in covenant, conflict transformation, and congregational dynamics, including:

Rev. Summer Albayati

Rev. Erica Baron

Rev. Tyler Coles

Lillian Drab-Braddick

Connie Goodbread

Rev. Lisa Presley

Rev. Tandi Rogers

Rev. Renee Ruchotzke

Rev. Sana Saeed

Annie Scott, CRE

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2 Responses

  1. I’m still looking for information and suggestions regarding how to form the Right Relations Team. I see the application form in the Team-Building Resources module, but that’s not the information I/we need. I am wondering if RRT members should be simply people who are interested and willing to serve the congregation in this capacity? Or are there some thoughts on using congregational roles to define who is on the RRT? If RRT is delineated by roles, that means regular turn-over in some cases (i.e. each time the President of the Board changes, that person changes). Should the minister be on the RRT automatically? Or should the minister only be called in in special circumstances? Currently, our Safe Congregation Policy Manual defines the responsive team for issues such as these by role. This needs to be revised because we’ve changed the functions that the Committee on Shared Ministry (COSM) engages in; it is no longer a conflict resolution body in any way shape or form. Can we please address the question of who makes up the RRT? Thanks.

  2. I thought I had completed the session in April but it is not marked. I attended the webinar. Now I am trying to complete the session by May 14, but I can’t start it because I am not marked as completing the previous work. Dottie Cox

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