Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Principled Commitment: An Adult Program on Building Strong Relationships


Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer. Only connect . . .

— E.M. Forster, early-twentieth-century British novelist

A healthy, satisfying relationship is not based on love alone. Rather, it is supported by a web of qualities such as those explored in this program: intention, humility, trust, dignity, connection, generosity, play, collaboration, and commitment. When couples integrate these qualities into their lives, they become stronger as individuals and as a couple.

In this workshop, participants work toward enhancing the connection they feel with their partners. They explore how couples connect and how to deepen that sense of connection (physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually); how to complement each other's need for connection; and how they can grow as a couple by connecting to families, friends, and community. They will also explore their individual and/or mutual needs for higher purpose and their connections with the larger web of existence.

Guiding Unitarian Universalist Principle

Seventh Principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part

Connection is that deep sense of knowing another person, which gives us the confidence to live in the world as part of a couple. The way we, as partners, communicate with one another — physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually — and the way we connect with others reflect how we value our interdependent web. Further, all of our actions and attitudes as partners are shaped by an interdependent web of family, friends, environment, community, and world.

Considerations for Adaptation

Alternate Activity 2, Four Dimensions of Connection, can provide couples with concrete ideas for activities that enhance or sustain connections. You may wish to consider using it if your group is looking for directly applicable skills. Activity 2, The Art of Connection, is more playful and offers couples a connecting experience in and of itself. Activity 3, Connecting from the Heart, can be emotionally intense. If your couples have had difficulty "going deep" with each other in previous workshops, you may wish to preface the activity with worship, meditation, or a ritual that can help participants open up to their partners.


This workshop will:

  • Encourage partners to name ways that their partners can better connect with them
  • Provide couples with an opportunity to playfully connect with one another
  • Underscore the value of each partner's connection with friends, family, and others beyond the relationship

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Discuss the ways that they connect with their partners — physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually
  • Name practices that can deepen connection within their relationship
  • Identify ways to grow as a couple by connecting to others and to a higher purpose