Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Wonderful Welcome: A Program for Children Grades K-1

Taking It Home: The Gift Of Covenant

A covenant is not a definition of a relationship; it is the framework for our relating. ... This calls for a level of trust, courage and sacrifice that needs to be nurtured, renewed and affirmed on a regular basis. ... Abiding in covenant is an art form. A mutual creation.

— Rev. Lisa Ward, in a sermon, "From Creed to Covenant," delivered November 17, 2002 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Harford County ( Churchville, Maryland )

IN TODAY'S SESSION... The children explored the intangible gift of covenant. They learned how covenants are made in various contexts such as on the playground, in their school classrooms, and in the larger Unitarian Universalist faith community, and they made a covenant for how they want to be together in Wonderful Welcome.


Whether or not you have articulated them, a variety of promises form the basis of your family relationships. Give some thought to the covenants that already exist in your family. By accepting the responsibility to parent your child, you have made a set of deep promises that you act on every day. Beyond feeding, clothing and sheltering your child, the love, protection and guidance you provide are fulfillments of a covenant.

Take the time to identify for yourself, and share with your child(ren), the covenants that support the relationships in your family. What promises do children make? What promises do adults make? Engage your child(ren) in exploring how your family's covenants are a "two-way street." Your child can understand that love, for example, goes both ways.

This may be an opportunity to develop together some covenant rules just for your family. For example, if you set aside times, such as a family meal, when you do not answer the phone or have a television on, engage your child as a willing participant in this agreement. Together, you will covenant to treat that time in a special way, so that nothing outside interferes with your time together.


It is likely that your family's values and practices mirror some if not all the Unitarian Universalist covenant expressed in the seven Principles of our faith. How do individual members of your family keep the covenant of Unitarian Universalism? If you do not have a copy of the seven UU Principles, you can find them online.


You may like to express your family's covenant or your Unitarian Universalist faith by taking a moment before shared meals for prayer or thanksgiving, and/or the lighting of a chalice or candles. One source of simple prayers for UU families is the UUA pamphlet, Family Prayers: a Sampler, available online at or for purchase through inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop,