Covenant Groups involve participants meeting regularly for conversation in defined small groups. It provides a way for individuals to get to know each other, explore important questions and ideas, and deepen their connections to the church.
Why do churches offer Covenant Groups?
People most often say they attend a church because they want to explore spiritual questions and/or they would like to connect with a community of like-minded souls. While Sunday morning services can promote spiritual growth and work on church committees provides some opportunities to meet others, neither is an ideal setting for having deep conversation about spiritual matters or developing close ties with others. These are the twin goals of Covenant Groups.
How do Covenant Groups work?
Participants meet in small groups for conversation on set topics.
- Each small group has 8 to 12 members, including a facilitator, who guides the sessions and assures that everyone has a chance to participate in conversation.
- Participation in each group will be predetermined and will remain consistent throughout the program year. This allows participants to create new connections and deepen existing ones.
- Assignment to groups is based on availability of participants.
What happens at a session?
Each participant of the group will have an opportunity to check in. Then, the facilitator will share readings, invite participants to share their experience with the suggested spiritual practice and then open conversation on the questions for reflection.
To enable all group participants to have a chance to share, the facilitator will ensure that each person has an opportunity to speak once before anyone speaks twice. There are also opportunities for dialogue.
At the first session, the group will discuss any “ground rules” they wish to set for their group.
Here at the UU Church of Kent, two types of groups are being offered this year: Soul Matters and racial justice.
Soul Matters groups will use the small group curriculum from Unitarian Universalist Soul Matters Sharing Circle program that uses a thematic “uniquely structured approach to explore spiritual exercises and questions that encourage reflection on daily living.”
Racial justice groups will use the UUA’s “Examining Whiteness” curriculum which will assist “white people in exploring a deeper understanding of issues that are essential to furthering a white anti-racist identity and the complexities of white supremacy, as well as the impact it has on us as individuals and on our larger society. “
Both groups offer opportunities to share our stories, ideas, and feelings, while building relationships.
Deadline to sign up for this year’s Covenant Groups is August 21, 2020.
Download the Small Group Conversation Brochure (Right-click the link and choose “Save Link As…” to save the document to your computer)