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Alternate Activity 2: Covenant Making (15 minutes), Session 3: Being Good, Being Bad

In "Amazing Grace," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers and tape

Description of Activity

Invite participants to create a group covenant to guide them in their work.

Ask the group to work together to construct a group covenant. Inform participants that a covenant is a promise, an agreement as to how the group will be together; that is, how it will conduct itself. Use the following discussion prompts to start covenant making:

  • Has anyone in the group ever created a covenant? If so, do they remember any of the agreements in the covenant?
  • Think of a time when you were part of a group that worked well together. What qualities or characteristics of the group allowed that to happen?
  • What guidelines will help group members be comfortable with and respectful of each other?

Work with participants to create the covenant. Allow time for participants to think and reflect. List responses on newsprint. Encourage positive wording, that is, what they will do, not what they will not do. If participants do not suggest them, share the following guidelines based on those proposed in the UUA Youth Advisor's Handbook:

  • Respect confidentiality; personal sharing stays in the room.
  • Show concern for one another's welfare; each person has the right either to pass or to share when it is his/her turn.
  • Be respectful; insults and sarcasm are not allowed.
  • Make sure everyone is heard; no interrupting others.
  • Be inclusive; help everyone feel like she/he is part of the group. This means not assuming everyone thinks or believes the same as you do. It also means being welcoming to youth you might not know well or who might seem different from you.

Review the covenant. Then ask, "What should happen if someone breaks the covenant?" Have participants use "I" statements to point out when a guideline has been broken; for example, "I feel the remark was insulting," instead of "You made an insulting remark." Resolve the problem and review the solution in light of the covenant. Revise the covenant as needed and make sure the group agrees with the change. Explain that you will post the covenant and that the group can revisit, add to, and revise it so it remains meaningful. Thank participants for creating the covenant as a group and for sharing the responsibility of upholding it.

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Last updated on Wednesday, October 26, 2011.

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