Relational Covenant for the Staff of the Diocese of Pennsylvania


Note: The Relational Covenant used by the Diocese has been used by other dioceses in the Episcopal Church, most notably the Diocese of Olympia.


WE PROMISE to do the following:


* To value our ministry of servant leadership to the Diocese of Pennsylvania. To offer our prayers to this ministry and those we work with daily.
* That if we have a problem with someone, we will go to them privately and in person. We will speak to them lovingly.
* If someone comes to us with a problem or issue with someone else, we will encourage them to talk with that person. We will not engage in the conversation regarding that person until the person addresses the person with whom she/he has a complaint.
* If someone consistently does not approach the person with whom they have a problem, we offer to go with them to help.
* To express criticism and negative feelings first to the person, not to others. We will not express derogatory remarks, comments or exhibit negative behavior toward fellow staff members. We will address conflicts openly and honestly.
* To maintain confidentiality in staff conversations and meetings. We will not gossip, or spend time in idle discussions regarding others while serving the Diocese.
* To assume the best motivations of one another and don’t try to guess each other’s intentions and motives. When in doubt we will ask, “Why are you saying that?” or “Why are you doing that?” or “Why is this important to you?”
* To explain clearly to people who bring staff complaints that we will be sharing the conversation with staff.
* That if someone tells you something in confidence, we will not tell. The only exceptions are if a person is going to harm her/himself or someone else, if a child has been physically or sexually abused, or it is gossip, complaining (issues described above) or detrimental to another staff member.
* That we will not read or write unsigned letters or notes.
* To speak your truth for yourself. Do not say “lots of people think . . .” or, “The Bishop said…” to try to add weight to your point. Speak your truth and let other people do the same.
* When in doubt, just say it-as lovingly as possible. Own it up front if we think we might not say something correctly. We will be graceful to one another when we or another has trouble expressing something. The only dumb questions are those that don’t get asked. We are a Christian family, and we care about one another. If you have a concern, pray, and then (if led) speak up.
* Any conversation that involves conflict is best had in person and is worst had using the internet. The only email that should be sent when you’re in conflict with someone is “When can we get together and talk?”
* To commit to processing information about personality differences among staff and to give feedback to one another to support strengths and to balance weaknesses.
* To openly discuss our personal strategies and investments in diocesan proposals.
* To accept the fact that disagreements are expected and are to take place behind closed staff doors; in public, we present ourselves as a team.
* To pray for one another. That’s not just a throwaway line. Lifting one another to God in prayer is how we learn, slowly and sometimes painfully, but ultimately joyfully, to see each other and treat each other as God’s beloved.






Bishop Gutierrez