Modified on: September 9, 2020
Covenant Groups and Social Distancing
Many people have found that Covenant Groups are a valuable way to stay connected to our church community during this time of social distancing. These are small groups of 6-10 people who meet with a trained leader on Zoom to discuss a lesson. The lesson is coordinated with the monthly sermon topics. Some of the current groups meet monthly, others twice a month, and one weekly. Some groups meet during the day, others in the evening or on weekends.
This is the time of year when we add new groups and new members. Plans are being made to have one new daytime group and one evening group. When it is safe to do so, groups will meet in person at the church. If you are interested, please contact Marilyn Coltrane at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At UUCS, we affirm the right relationship as a part of our spiritual work together. In Covenant Groups, members discover new joy and fulfillment in their spiritual lives, find power in diversity, and form and deepen friendships.
What is a Covenant Group?
A Covenant Group is a group of up to ten people who meet regularly for a common purpose. Covenant Group structure offers a context in which we may speak of our lives and concerns with the expectation that we will be heard and respected, where there is safety, where we can consider many views without rancor. Members of a group come to know and trust each other, and the groups are meant to provide opportunities for community friendship within the larger congregation.
When do Covenant Groups meet?
Covenant Groups agree to meet at least once a month. Each group decides the time and location of its meetings.
How are Covenant Groups formed?
People who wish to join a covenant group are usually assigned on the basis of available space within a group and on which meeting time will be most convenient for them. We also try to balance groups by age and gender.
Goals of the Covenant Group Ministry
- To deepen spiritual life and understanding.
- To create and deepen friendships and personal ties within the larger congregation.
- To provide a context for the understanding and practice of UU principles and values.
- To encourage connections to the larger congregation and the community.
What is a typical Covenant Group meeting like?
Covenant Group meetings are carefully structured and typically last for about an hour and a half. Each group is led by a trained facilitator. Meetings open with a chalice lighting and check-in by participants, followed by readings related to the topic of the session. Prepared questions guide the conversation about the topic. The meeting ends with a check-out and a closing reading.
How are topics chosen?
Usually, all the groups use the same prepared lesson each month. Leaders meet at the beginning of the month to discuss and practice the lesson, and we believe that using the same lesson for all increases the sense of connection between groups. The lessons come from various sources.
What is expected of a Covenant Group member?
Group members make a commitment for at least a year and agree to attend meetings except when prevented by necessity. Everyone is encouraged to engage in discussions, listen actively, and abide by the group’s covenant.
Who is eligible to participate?
Adults who are Members or Friends of UUCS may participate. Covenant groups may add new members at any time. New groups are formed once each year, typically in the fall. Interested in joining a Covenant Group? Complete the Covenant Group sign-up or email email@example.com