top of page


Adapted from the Conversation Covenant of the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest, this agreement guides WELCM students and staff in building and maintaining an authentic Christian community, especially when discussing difficult topics or resolving conflicts.

We start from the premise that only God knows everything.

We start from the premise that all people are God’s people,

and that God’s love is toward everyone.

WELCM is a worshipping community that engages inquiry into the Christian faith and interpretation of that faith in both action and reflection. Open conversation is an essential part of our learning, growth, and community-building. Avoiding areas of passion and disagreement would be an easier path, but part of our calling as disciples of Jesus Christ is commitment to remaining in conversation with one another, despite our differences.

We hereby set our intention together to participate in conversation without judging, dominating, gossiping, interrupting, or giving advice. In order to mark both our commitment to conversation and our recognition of the challenges, we affirm …

  • that we are all made in the image of God and will honor one another with respect and dignity;

  • that we are free to explore different ideas and beliefs as well as to grow and change theologically;

  • that we share a common sinfulness and therefore, will understand only partially and be mistaken frequently;

  • that we do not have to agree in order to love one another;

  • that our conversations, even our most passionate disagreements, take place in the Spirit, whom we seek not to grieve.

And we strive…

  • to approach conversation with a willingness to listen and learn, acknowledging the value of differing, even opposing, views;

  • to treat one another as honest inquirers, attempting to discern God’s truth in a complex world;

  • to engage ideas without attacking or dismissing those who hold them;

  • to acknowledge the limited perspective of our own experience and opinions, and be open to the possibility of our views changing;

  • to consider the possibility that we might be mistaken, secure in the knowledge of the love and forgiveness we have all received in Christ;

  • to challenge one another while seeking not to give offense;

  • to consider challenges from others while striving not to take offense too readily;

  • to serve reconciliation by sharing when we have been offended;

  • to acknowledge stereotypes, ask for clarification in order to avoid misunderstandings, and make room for complexity.

bottom of page