actually take the soul time to think about how we really want to be together, what we need from each other, and what we can honestly offer in this shared work. There's no BS in our covenant.
There's also no value in there that we don't honestly try to hold ourselves to. We ardently try to live into our covenant, not collectively so much as individually, together.
I have witnessed every member of our team use the covenant to bring us all back into right relation. And I'm not just talking about egregious violations - though we've had a few of those. I'm talking about when we as individual people weren't at our best and needed to come back and ask for forgiveness, or when we felt that someone wasn't living up to his or her promises.
We don't just work our covenant when we're together as a large group. I can't count the number of times a colleague has used our covenant to help me think through how to talk to someone else, or asked me to forgive myself, or gently nudged me away from triangulation.
When I experience those moments, when one of us tries to stay connected in covenant to another, I see that a deep covenant is the midwife of grace. Real grace, earned in the muck of everyday work.
Love grows in the midst of that grace. And that's what I think people notice about our staff team. We love each other. Not because we're all best friends, or because we agree on everything, or because we're perfect co-workers. But because we've struggled together, and tried hard to be the people we want to be, and failed in front of each other, and because we've glimpsed the beautiful, graceful, hard-earned love that we can only create together.