Our mission covenant calls us to foster relationships within community, offer a spiritual setting for personal growth, interact on a meaningful level, and let everyone’s voice be heard. We seek to provide many ways for the people in our community to engage one another, in both large and small group settings. First Unitarian recognizes that small, committed groups of people can create a nurturing and supportive space in which to grow and interact.
Covenant groups may be the spiritual development path you have been hoping to find. In these groups, 6 to 10 adults led by trained facilitators agree to focus on nurturing relationships among members and to explore their spiritual journeys together. People share their life stories and strengthen ties to each other over time, offering expanding opportunities for growth, caring, and connections within the congregation.
At a typical gathering, members briefly check in and then sit in a short period of centering silence. They get to know one another on a deeper level by sharing their reflections and ideas on a given topic. The essence of the covenant group experience is the development of deep sharing and deep listening, which are encouraged by the meeting structure.
For many people, covenant groups go significantly beyond the coffee-hour level of connecting with people. As one member describes it, “Covenant groups can provide a place of spiritual intimacy for many of our members in this large church. They have a huge potential for enriching, even transforming our church lives.”
What is a Covenant?
The covenant is an agreement among members about how to act within the group. Our group covenant is below.
I commit myself to:
- Let the leader know if I will be absent or need to quit
- Share with the leader the responsibility for good group process by watching how much time I take to speak and noticing what is going on for others
- Do the reading and thinking about the topic ahead of time
- Not gossip about what is shared in the group, and tell only my own story to others
- Honor the safety of the group by listening to what others share with an open heart
- Refrain from cross-talk, judging, or giving advice
- Share as deeply as I can when it is my turn.
How to Join a Covenant Group
Sign up in person on Connection Sundays, which are the Sunday before and the Sunday after Labor Day weekend when many church activities are represented in the courtyard. At the covenant group table after each service you can see the schedule of daytime and evening groups. The number of groups and meeting days/times change every year based on facilitator availability. Email sign-up can be done after the second Connection Sunday.
Covenant group meetings run October through April. New members are not admitted after the third meeting. There are 14 meetings, each devoted to a different topic. Groups meet twice monthly usually on the church campus, either on the 1st and 3rd or the 2nd and 4th weeks of the month.
E-mail the coordinator for more information!