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A covenanted free church is a body of individuals who have freely made a profoundly simple promise, a covenant: We pledge to walk together in the spirit of mutual love. The spirit of love is alone worthy of our ultimate, our religious loyalty. So, we shall meet often to take counsel concerning the ways of love, and we will yield religious authority solely to our own understanding of what these ways are, as best we can figure them out or learn or remember them, together. — Alice Blair Wesley, Unitarian Universalist minister
Covenant is about relationship and community, and Unitarian Universalism affirms the value of relationship, community, and interdependence. In this workshop, participants explore the meaning of covenant in general and for Unitarian Universalists, how it is practiced and lived, and how to reconcile when relationships are broken.
Alternate Activity 1, Right Relationship and Reconciliation, can be a powerful activity for youth. Because of the time it requires, it is not a core activity. Consider adding extra time and including this in place of Activity 4, Unitarian Universalist Covenant.
Note that the Faith in Action activity requires a few months of planning to arrange a worship service exchange with a neighboring congregation.
Overall, this workshop reinforces that Unitarian Universalists come together freely to practice our humanity in a covenantal faith community, and that there are many ways this manifests in our individual and congregational lives.
This workshop will:
- Explore different types of covenant, including the historical roots of Unitarian Universalism's covenantal faith
- Consider the role of covenant in the rebuilding, renewal, and rebirth of New Orleans Unitarian Universalist congregations after Hurricane Katrina
- Invite the congregation's minister(s) to lead a discussion of covenant in the congregation
- Reinforce the importance of interdependence and community.
- Compare Unitarian Universalist covenant with other forms of covenant
- Learn the importance of covenant, interdependence, and community in Unitarian Universalism and their own congregation
- Optional: Discover tools to repair relationships when a covenant has been broken.