Ministerial Musings

You may remember our theme in worship for September was Covenant. That prompted me to dig up some of Tapestry’s documents that describe our relationships within the congregation. The Committee on Shared Ministry spent a chunk of time reviewing them with me. There are two documents that are especially important for us all to be aware of. One is the Covenant of Right Relations. The other is the Conflict Resolution Policy / Process.

The Covenant of Right Relations is pretty simple. It states:
In pursuit of the ideals of a beloved community which support our Seven Unitarian Universalist Principles, and to promote constructive relations among ourselves, at TAPESTRY, we covenant to:

  • Treat one another with respect and civility
  • Live with integrity and responsibility
  • Cultivate Openness and Transparency
  • Make official decisions through the democratic process

The Conflict Resolution Policy/Process is a little longer. It’s worth mentioning because it’s a great guide for approaching any conflict in life. The Process basically summarizes the Policy. The steps of the Process are:

  • Personal Reflection -Examine your own role in the conflict. Why is this matter important to you?
  • Take Time -Sleep on things before acting impulsively. Get a reality check from a trusted third party. Compare your perceptions.
  • Seek to understand the other person(s) -Seek understanding of the situation by asking humanizing questions. What sort of influences might be at play?
  • Address the concern directly - Talk directly with the person (member, minister, staff) with whom you have the conflict. Agree on a mutually acceptable time and place to talk in private as soon as possible after the incident.
  • Seek Assistance - If needed, those in conflict are encouraged to contact the Right Relations Team (RRT) directly, or may be referred by the Board or Minister to the RRT. If the concern is related to job performance this can be referred to the person or committee in charge or supervision.

Our Covenant of Right Relations and the Conflict Resolution Process were written by Tapestry leaders and approved by the congregation by vote. Just as importantly, they are sound guidance for building a healthy community at Tapestry.

In reviewing these documents last month, we realize that the Right Relations Team doesn’t currently have any members. Soon, the Board will appoint a new Right Relations Team and inform the congregation who is on it. This team fell out of our attention because there hasn’t been any significant conflict within Tapestry for several years. While we don’t anticipate any particular conflict, it is a good idea occasionally to reflect on how we aim to treat each other and why.

Rev. Kent


Minister's Seminars


by Jeffrey Eugenides

Wednesday, Oct. 2, 6:30 - 8:00 pm

"I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day of January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of l974. . . My birth certificate lists my name as Calliope Helen Stephanides. My most recent driver’s license...records my first name simply as Cal."

The odd but utterly believable story of Cal Stephanides, and how this 41-year-old intersex person was raised as Calliope, is at the tender heart of this novel by Jeffrey Eugenides. “Middlesex” is the winner for the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. October 26 is Intersex Awareness Day in North America. Please read the book before our meeting to fully participate in the discussion.

For more information or to sign up, please contact Rev. Kent .

"All Systems Red "

by Martha Wells

Wednesday, Nov. 6, 6:30 - 8:00 pm

“All Systems Red,” by Martha Wells, is a tense science fiction adventure that interrogates the roots of consciousness through Artificial Intelligence. This short novella is one part of a trilogy. Please read the book in advance of our gathering to fully participate in the discussion.

For more information or to sign up, please contact Rev. Kent .