Activity time: 20 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Written examples of covenants from your congregation (one copy per participant) (see Preparation)
- Blank paper (at least one sheet per small group)
- Pencils or pens (at least one per small group)
Preparation for Activity
- Ask various groups in the congregation - such as small group ministry groups, youth groups, committees, or children's classes - whether they would be willing to share their covenants with your workshop participants. These may be covenants of purpose or covenants of behavior, as long as they are currently being used within your congregation's community.
- If you are unable to find written covenants within your congregation, examples can be found on these websites: the Unitarian Universalist Small Group Ministry Network and First Unitarian Church of Victoria.
- Create a printed handout with examples of covenants, and photocopy it for participants.
Description of Activity
Invite participants to form small groups of two to three couples each. Distribute the handout you have created with examples of covenants. Explain that this activity will invite the group to think about how they can share their understanding of covenant with the rest of the congregation.
Ask participants to review the covenant examples, and ask:
- How do each of these covenants reflect our third Principle, "acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth"?
- Are there ways to improve these covenants?
- How do, or how might, groups that you participate in - within the congregation, in the workplace, or in social circles - benefit from a covenant?
Invite groups to spend ten minutes reflecting and brainstorming. Ask the small groups to take notes on their discussion.
Invite each group to spend one or two minutes reporting back to large group. After groups have shared, ask:
- What from this conversation might you take with you into your work with other parts of the congregation?