“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
A different way of doing church
A Small Group Ministry program, which we call Covenant Groups, deepens and broadens personal spiritual growth. A group usually consists of 8-12 members who meet once a month. Each meeting is focused on the monthly ministry theme which are:
- October: Grief
- November: Possibilities
- December: Silence
- January: Balance
- February: Risk
- March: Covenant
- April: Grace
- May: Union
- June: Embodiment
Goals of Covenant Groups
The Covenant Group program deepens and broadens personal spiritual growth. This is done through five components:
- Listening: Deep listening is gift for both the speaker and the listener. A connection forms when we share and give this gift to each other.
- Worship: Worship is central to the life of our congregation. Small Group Ministry augments and strengthens our shared experience.
- Community: Small groups meet the need for connection and intimacy that is both a hunger in our society and essential to the ongoing life of a religious community.
- Learning: People come to the church seeking spiritual growth, seeking to know themselves better, to grow into their understanding of the world and to ponder the age old questions of faith: how to live, what to believe, how to act, what meanings we can decipher from the mystery of life.
- Service: A life of faith is a life of service. As human beings, we seek to be of use, and a healthy congregation needs to provide avenues through which we may serve.
How do Covenant Groups work?
Ministry happens in the monthly meetings, which focus on spiritual or religious topics through a process of deep listening and service projects, which are expected from each group once a year. In general, projects tend to be ones that serve the church community or the local community, but they can be larger projects that reach beyond our church community.
What are Covenant Group sessions like?
- Chalice Lighting & Opening Words: The meeting begins with the lighting of a chalice, gathering in and settling down together.
- Check-In: Participants share news of what has been happening in their lives. This portion of the meeting may expand from time to time when circumstances call for it.
- Quotes from the Common Bowl: Groups shift into a time of focused sharing, by reading aloud quotations on the theme.
- Discussion: Participants are invited to share their personal experiences and/or reflections, responding to a focus question. The first round is deep listening only; a second round invites responses and expanding on reflections.
- Check-Out: Likes and Wishes: This is an opportunity for feedback.
- Closing Words: This brings the formal session to and end. Groups are encouraged to start and end on time.
What is expected of members?
Group members are expected to
- attend monthly meetings
- 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.
- respect the covenant co-created by their group
- participate in a service project chosen by their group
How can you join a group?
Covenant Groups run from October 2020 through June 2021. There are seven groups to choose from; choose the day/time that works best for you, and register here by September 21, 2020. After the year has ended, participants are free to register again for the next year, to build relationships and connections in a new group.
Your options are the:
- 2nd Tuesday of the month, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
- Begins Oct. 13, 2020 with Marlene Schellenberg
- 2nd Wednesday of the month, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
- Begins Oct. 14, 2020 with Abby Tavares
- 2nd Saturday of the month, 10:00 a.m. to noon.
- Begins Oct. 10, 2020 with Odell Havsdotter
- 3rd Tuesday of the month, 7:00-9:00 p.m. FULL
- 3rd Wednesday of the month, 9:30-11:30 a.m. CANCELLED
- 3rd Friday of the month, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
- Begins Oct. 16, 2020 with Pat Lane
- 4th Monday of the month, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
- Begins Oct. 26, 2020 with Janet Toews
All Covenant Groups will meet on Zoom videoconference during the 2020-21 church year.
Registration will remain open through October for the five remaining sessions.
For information about any of our Learning programs, please contact our Director of Lifespan Faith Development (DLFD), Andrea James.