Covenant Calls Us In: The Why of Covenant (Training)

a red felt heart, stitched back together up the center with blue thread and a needle

When you’re a member of a vibrant congregation, you hope for a deep and radical welcome there. You want to be able to bring your whole self, and feel called to be your best self, accountable to the vision of beloved community the community shares. In these congregations, when actions, words, or behavior arise that are destructive to the community's well-being, Covenant can help call us all in.

Dealing with destructive behavior is some of the hardest (and most important) work that a congregation has to do. Addressing breaches of covenant well is essential to creating a beloved community where people can hope to bring their whole selves to the congregation. It provides the possibility for a radical welcome, and more well-being for the members.

A new course posted on UU Institute, Covenant Calls Us In: The Why of Behavioral Covenant (109), is the first part of a two-part on-demand series that helps congregations understand and move more deeply into covenant. This first course helps us learn the history of covenant and why we would bother with behavioral covenants. It is available now, on demand. It sets the stage for dealing with destructive behavior. A second course, Part 2, Covenant Calls Us In: Living Into Behavioral Covenant (209), will cover how to create policies and procedures, and how to engage the congregation in adopting a behavioral covenant. The second part is scheduled to be released in Winter 2024.

The Why of Behavioral Covenant will provide you with the necessary background to engage in creating (or reviewing and revising) your own behavioral covenant. We will cover the history of covenant in UUism, the difference between our Associational UUA covenant and behavioral covenants, theological and ethical concerns, how to think about accountability and responsibility, some tools for transformation in your congregation, and some outlines about how to begin thinking about creating your policies. We view it as a necessary prerequisite to part 2. Each topic will contain videos and readings and prompts for questions/activities for you to do to make the material more “alive” for you.

Many of the materials come from our previous intensive online training. Those who took that helped us realize that we needed something that was available to more people in this on-demand format. Even if you attended that, you might want to review this course to refresh your knowledge, and be able to let your congregation know why you’re engaging in this important work. have all that you need to progress to the second part this coming winter.

Registration fee for the class is $15 a person on the UU Institute website, which requires a separate login. We recommend that you have a small group of people take the course together—they will then be able to share videos and articles with the larger congregation (though not their log-in information).

If your congregation has already created your policies and procedures, we recommend another course, Tending Covenant: Training for Right Relationship Teams (330), as a way to keep your team up to date!