What will I gain from being in a Covenant Group?

  • Build stronger relationships with each other
  • Connect with others who are Unitarian Universalists
  • Support each other by exploring stories of faith
  • Explore meaning in our lives

What should I expect in a Covenant Group meeting?

Group meetings have a basic structure:

  • Greetings
  • Opening – chalice lighting, reading
  • Some groups may review their covenant
  • Personal Sharing – Each person speaks for 4-5 minutes without interruption, then the group can respond and discuss.
  • Discuss a chosen theme, which may be a personal story, for about 60 minutes.
  • Closing

What’s a covenant?

A covenant is a group agreement that includes:

  • How members treat each other
  • That the group will engage in at least one act of service during the year

Do I have to participate in every part of the meeting?

Any member can pass at any time. But our reason for being in Covenant Groups is to grow in:

  • Our personal lives
  • Our spirituality
  • Our connection to the church
  • Our ability to support each other

The more you participate, the more you will get out of your experience and the more your group will get to know you.

Is the sharing confidential?

Yes. We agree to:

  • Avoid gossip
  • Respect one another’s stories and experiences
  • Not mention the name or identifying information about what is shared in meetings

How long are the sessions?

We plan for two hours. We respect the time to make sure everyone has the chance to share and may use a clock or timer.

Who leads the meetings?

A convener:

  • Organizes the group
  • Helps keep the meetings on track
  • Meets regularly with the other conveners and a minister

What should I do if I have to miss a meeting?
Group members are expected to make a serious commitment to attending each session. If you cannot attend, please contact the convener ahead of time, if possible.

What should I do if I have a concern about my group?
It’s best to talk to the convener first.  Ministers are also available to help with any concern.

How long will my group stay together?
We have an open group policy. New members can be added to the group at any time. Once a year, usually in the fall, group members decide if they want to recommit to their group or join another.

For questions about covenant groups or to join one of our groups, please contact Emily Stoper at covenantgroups@uuoakland.org.