WES Blog – Dr. King’s Vision & Our Community

As we have been celebrating and learning about Dr. King this weekend, and his vision for beloved community, I am brought to the question: how, exactly, do we create that?

On one hand, I know there’s no specific answer–we are all trying to figure it out, making mistakes and trying again. On the other hand, I am heartened by all the ways I see WES working at it, from Board work on anti-racist hiring policies to the work of the Community Relations Committee (CRC) creating a social relations compact about how we want to be together.

Hey, you may be thinking to yourself. I remember hearing about that work…what’s happening with it now?! Well, CRC members Jo London (chair), Randy Myers, Laura Tyler, and Rajesh Vidyasagar are hard at work, taking all the comments and thoughts that community members shared in the spring and fall and shaping them into a one-page document that describes the intentions and actions we hope that we as WES members will have and take. They’ll be sharing that document with groups around WES–staying in conversation with the Board as they do it, so that their work can inform and be informed by any Board policies–and sometime in early spring they’ll bring it to the entire community for small groups to engage with the language and share feedback. Their hope is to have a final document for an up-down vote at the June Membership Meeting.

I’ve asked them to each share a little bit about why they think a compact like this is important, or what spirit they try to bring to their work. Here are their words…words that do, indeed, remind me of beloved community.

Jo: I am grateful to have had the chance to work with former CRC Chair Bob Pokorny and with Chris Chafe, who both modeled so well how we should treat each other. They have both rotated off the Committee, and I hope that our current CRC can follow their great example. What I have learned at WES from classes I have taken and from working on the Ethiquette Committee about putting “eliciting the best” into action has greatly improved my life. So I am eager for you to get involved in creating a Community Relations Pact that will work for all of us.

Randy: I am excited to have the opportunity to be part of developing a WES Community Relations Pact that will be a bridge between our Statement of Purpose and better understanding of how we intend to better communicate with one another. We look forward to your feedback on our draft soon to come!!

Laura: Being part of the WES Community is a continued honor and I am glad to be able to add my perspective as we move forward declaring how we endeavor to be together. Humans are quirky animals but honest communication done with caring and concern makes us stronger people, encourages understanding and combats confusion. The CRC is working hard to bring the values of this great community into a document we can all look to as a guide to moving forward together.

Rajesh: I have been thinking about ways in which we can bring our humanist values to bear on interactions with each other in WES, how commitment to ethical living influences our daily lives, little decisions, and simple interactions. The work we are doing at the CRC on a Community Relations Pact will help and I am excited to work on stuff like this!

You can reach the CRC at crc@ethicalsociety.org if you’d like to share thoughts or hopes with them about the social relations compact, if you’d like to host a small group to talk about it, or if you’d like to request their support in handling a conflict in the community.