Activity time: 5 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Leader Resource 2, Sample Covenant
- Newsprint, markers, and tape
Preparation for Activity
- Copy the sample covenant from Leader Resource 2 (or an existing covenant you prefer to use) on newsprint, and post.
- Reflect on your experience with covenanted groups so that you are prepared to speak from first-person experience on the value of covenantal relationships in Unitarian Universalist faith communities.
Description of Activity
Explain “covenant” with these or similar words:
A covenant is a mutual promise to one another. We agree to a way of being together as the foundation of our group relationships. At the root of all of our covenants with each other is our commitment to the first Unitarian Universalist Principle, the inherent worth and dignity of each one of us. A group covenant makes explicit our promises to one another, ensuring that we have a safe and productive space in which to do our work together and serving to hold us as a community of faith and a community of learners.
Call attention to the sample covenant you have posted. Invite a volunteer to read each element. Ask the group if they have any questions or concerns about the points of the sample covenant.
Ask if there are any other elements that should be added to make people feel safe and to support an effective group experience. For example, you might encourage participants to add, “We will make these workshops a shame-free and joy filled zone.” Write each suggested addition on newsprint and invite discussion, modifying as appropriate. Say that as the program goes forward, the group can and should check in about how covenant guidelines are working in the group and whether any new guidelines need to be added.
When agreement is evident, ask the group to adopt the covenant by consensus. Commit to keeping the covenant posted throughout the program.