Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Exploring Our Values Through Poetry: A Program for High School Youth

Alternate Activity 2: Covenant Building

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint and markers

Description of Activity

Invite participants to create a group covenant to guide them in their work. Use the following discussion prompts as needed:

  • What is a covenant?
  • Has anyone in the group ever created a covenant? (If so, ask if those members of the group are interested in co-leading the covenant creating process with you now.)
  • Think of a time when you were part of a group that worked well together. What qualities or characteristics of the group allowed that to happen?
  • What guidelines will help group members be comfortable with and respectful of each other?

Work with participants to create the covenant. Allow time for participants to think and reflect. List responses on newsprint. Encourage positive wording. If participants do not suggest them, share the following guidelines based on those proposed in the UUA Youth Advisor's Handbook:

  • Respect confidentiality; personal sharing stays in the room.
  • Show concern for each other's welfare; when it's his/her turn, each person has the right to either pass or share.
  • Be respectful; insults and sarcasm are not allowed.
  • Make sure everyone is heard; no interrupting others.
  • Be inclusive; help everyone feel like s/he are part of the group.
  • Remain committed to others.

Review the covenant. Then ask, "What should happen if someone breaks the covenant?" Have participants use "I" statements to point out which guideline has been broken; for example, "I feel the remark was belittling," instead of "You made a belittling remark." Resolve the problem and review the solution in light of the covenant. Revise the covenant as needed and make sure the group agrees with the change. Explain that the covenant will be posted and that the group can revisit, add to, and revise it so it remains meaningful. Thank participants for creating the covenant as a group and for sharing the responsibility of upholding it.