“People come to church longing for, yearning for, hoping for … a sense of roots, place, belonging, sharing and caring. People come to a church with a search for community.” ~ Glenn Turner

Covenant Groups are small groups of 8-12 participants, with two co-facilitators. They gather monthly to reflect on the church-wide theme, broadening personal spiritual growth, and forming connections and deepening relationships as they go. They are a wonderful way to create community.

Covenant Group members

  • attend monthly meetings from October to June
  • co-create a covenant (a draft template is provided), and then practice living into that covenant every month
  • share their experiences and reflections, and hold space for those of the others in the group
  • practice deep listening. Deep listening is a way of focusing intently on what another person is saying without interruption or simultaneously formulating a response. Deep listening also gives an individual an opportunity to speak without interruption or comment.
  • participate in a service project chosen by their group (each group to decide on their participation)

All are welcome:  adults of all ages and genders. long time congregation members and people newly exploring Unitarian Universalism, past Covenant Group participants and newcomers.

Reimagining the Common Good

Our overarching theme this year is Reimagining the Common Good.

Reimagining the common good requires looking at society and ourselves because the common good is always in competition with individual needs and interests. Building support for the common good in a “me” culture is challenging. It requires a balancing act between what we hold and value in common, and the forces of need and greed.
In this overall consideration of the common good, we must also attend to the commons, which is defined as “the cultural and natural resources accessible to all members of a society, including natural materials such as air, water, and a habitable Earth.” Said differently, our embrace of the common good must expand to include the planet Earth.

Let us respond, through engagement with the following themes:

  • October: Love
  • November: Interdependence
  • December: Pluralism
  • January: Justice
  • February: Hope
  • March: Transformation
  • April: Generosity
  • May: Equity
  • June: Humility

Details

Covenant Groups are led by trained facilitators who, in turn, attend their own monthly meeting. Groups meet either on Zoom videoconference or in person in the Living Room at the church, on Wellington.

The program runs from October 2023 through June 2024. Groups are intentionally disbanded at the end of the year, though your friendships will have a life of their own. Participants are welcome to register again the following year, to make new connections, with another group of people.

What are Covenant Group sessions like?

  • Opening Words: Gathering in, settling down, reflecting the theme of the session. The meeting begins with the lighting of a candle or a chalice and land acknowledgment.
  • Check-In: Participants share news of what has been happening in their lives. Each group develops its own customs as to the length of sharing. This portion of the meeting may expand from time to time when circumstances call for it.
  • Wisdom Story and Readings from the Common Bowl: Before the meeting a longer story (roughly a page) and various shorter readings related to the theme are shared with participants. Participants read these in turn, leaving s few moments of silence after each to invite reflection on the meaning. Each group develops its own customs around discussion of the readings.
  • Living the Questions: Several questions that will elicit thoughtful discussion and significant reflection are shared. Participants may explore one question deeply or find that several questions can be explored fully.
  • Check-Out: This is an opportunity for feedback of where participants are now as a result of the time spent together and the experience of exploring the theme.
  • Closing Words: This brings the formal session to and end. Groups are encouraged to start and end on time.


Please contact Janet Toews for more information.

There are four groups to choose from this year; choose the day/time/format that works best for you, and register using the form below. You can still register after the sessions have started, in groups that still have room.

  • 2nd Tuesday of the month, 1:30-3:00 p.m. in person in the living room
    • Begins Oct. 10, 2023
    • Facilitators: Janet Toews and Lou McKean
  • FULL 2nd Friday of the month, 9:30-11 a.m. (except the October meeting 10:30 a.m.- noon), on Zoom
    • Begins Oct. 13, 2023
    • Facilitators: Maxine Hébert and Christina Swindells-Nader
  • FULL 3rd Tuesday of the month, 7:00-8:30 p.m. in person in the living room
    • Begins Oct. 17, 2023
    • Facilitator: Marian Siemens

For information about any of our Learning programs, please contact our Coordinator of Lifespan Religious Education (CLRE).