Our Covenant of Healthy Relationships affirms our shared commitment to communicating and interacting with care and respect:

The BUF Covenant of Healthy Relationships

Individually and collectively we share responsibility and accountability for our actions. We honor each other’s worth by engaging in thoughtful and respectful dialogue that seeks to promote understanding. In the spirit of this Covenant, we promise our mutual trust and support to one another as we strive to bring our best selves forward.

We the members, staff and ministers of the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, covenant to affirm our commitment to each other and our congregation as we promise to:

    • Warmly welcome all
    • Foster a safe and nurturing environment for all our members
    • Embrace our diversity and the opportunity to share our different perspectives
    • Honor and support one another in our life journeys in times of joy, need, and struggle
    • Be quick to listen, slow to judge, and willing to negotiate
    • Accept responsibility for our individual acts
    • Honor confidences
    • Address our disagreements directly and openly
    • See conflict through to authentic resolution
    • Strive to keep our promises, but when we fall short, we forgive ourselves and others, and begin again in love

Our Healthy Relationships Team and Conflict Management Process

BUF’s Healthy Relationships Team is here to nurture healthy relationships within our community by:

  • Promoting our Covenant of Healthy Relationships
  • Providing education in relationship-building and communication skills
  • Facilitating difficult conversations

Current team members are: Mary Alden (chair), Kaitlin Davis, Mialee Jose, Karen Nuckles-Flinn, Wendy Czopp, Debu Majumdar, Lin Skavdahland, and Rev. Paul Beckel.

If you have a concern about maintaining or improving a relationship with someone at BUF, please fill out the form here, or contact any of us for assistance. The information you share will be kept confidential.

Here’s a quick overview of the process:

One or more members of the Healthy Relationships Team will review the information you provide below. Then we will:

  1. Offer our support as you think through how to approach a potentially difficult conversation (or whether to let it go).
  2. Offer to go with you if you decide to share the concern directly. In this case, we would also reach out to the other party and hear their perspective. Our role is to advocate for the relationship—and a healthy conversation—rather than advocating for one party or the other.
  3. If you are not willing to have a direct conversation with the other party, we may ask you for your permission to share your concern with the person involved, along with your name.
  4. If you choose not to utilize this process, we will ask you to make peace with the matter in a manner consistent with our Covenant of Healthy Relationships. We will continue to be available to you.
For concerns involving BUF’s Minister or Staff:
  • Staff: Please contact his or her supervisor. If you aren’t sure who this is, contact Rev Paul Beckel.
  • Minister: Depending on the nature of the concern, the Healthy Relationships Team may assist directly or provide referral to an outside mediator.

If you have a concern about threatening or criminal behavior, please dial 911 to contact the police immediately. Please do not continue with this online form. After making a police report, please follow-up by contacting Rev Paul Beckel (360) 820-9995.

Contact the Healthy Relationships Team with a Concern