Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Love Connects Us: A Program on Living in Unitarian Universalist Covenant for Grades 4-5

Taking It Home: A Covenant is a Promise

Love is the spirit of this church,

and service its law.

This is our great covenant:

To dwell together in peace,

To seek the truth in love,

And to help one another. — James Vila Blake (1842-1925), Unitarian minister

IN TODAY'S SESSION... the children heard the story of Noah, and the covenant that God makes with creation following the flood. We made a rainbow wall hanging, a reminder of the rainbow sign that God gave to Noah, and we talked about what a covenant might mean for our own group. Our activities emphasized cooperation and connection.

EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about... what covenant means. How is a covenant the same as or different than a promise? Who makes covenants? Do you have any family covenants? Has your family done a baby or child dedication ceremony which involved a covenant on the part of the parents or the congregational community?

EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Create a covenant statement for your family. What are your highest goals as a family? What commitments do you make to one another? How are the commitments which parents make to a family different from those the children make? How are they the same?

A Family Ritual. At bedtime, offer your child a special promise, such as "I promise I will listen to you," or "I promise to honor your creativity." Or, agree on a ritual way to seal agreements you make in daily life ("I'll try not to yell if you'll try not to yell.") A hug makes a good ritual of commitment, but you may wish to choose an action that is unique to your family and serves as a reminder of the special nature of a covenant.