Boundaries in congregations

Over at the blog “Morning Star Rising,” Deb Weiner has an excellent post on setting boundaries and limits in your congregation. Deb begins by asking a couple of questions: “Why, I wonder, do Unitarian Universalists seem to have such difficulty establishing and accepting boundaries and limits?… Do we really believe that affirming the worth and dignity of people means that anything goes?” Deb goes on to give pertinent examples of times when congregations did not set good boundaries, based on her own wide experience in a number of Unitarian Universalist congregations. It’s not just Unitarian Universalists who have this problem, of course: many different kinds of congregations struggle with the same problem. If you’re part of any congregation, it’s worth reading Deb’s well-written post, “Boundaries and Limits.”

I’ll amplify one point in Deb’s post: the same boundaries and limits that apply to members and friends of the congregation also apply to staff and ministers; therefore, it is not OK for someone to yell at your congregation’s DRE or minister, to speak patronizingly to your church’s sexton or custodian, or to treat your congregation’s administrator like a personal servant; people are people, whether they’re on the payroll or not. Thank goodness I’m working in a church where members and friends treat each other, and treat staff and ministers, with courtesy and respect — it makes life pleasant for everyone.

1 thought on “Boundaries in congregations

  1. Ms. M

    knowing all too well of what Deb speaks…

    seen what it’s like in a congregation that has boundaries, and too many that don’t. spiritual and theological implications are significant….

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