Sample Event Covenants

“Covenant is the silk that joins Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations, communities, and individuals together in a web of interconnection. The practice of promising to walk together is the precious core of our creedless faith.

‘Covenant’ is both a noun and a verb. It can be a written agreement among individual community members promising to behave in certain ways, and it can mean to engage in mutual promises with Spirit, with other people and communities.”

From “Covenant is Foundational to Congregational Polity

Different kinds of events need different covenants. In the case of ongoing communities, deep and effective covenants work best when the community has time to dive into the space of conversation. The same covenant can be used for successive events with time to discuss rather than always creating the covenant from scratch.

Learning Community Sample Covenant

Adapted from the Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kwong

  1. Be fully present with your heart and your head

  2. Commit to the—processbring confidence and humility

  3. Let all voices be heard—move up/move back

  4. Support one another in respect and care

  5. Use what’s in the room

  6. Consent—only “Yes” means “Yes.”

  7. Confidentiality: share your learnings, not others’ stories

  8. Honor different learning styles, paces, and needs

  9. Remember that intent and impact are not the same thing

  10. Help us stay focused: Use the parking lot/bike rack

  11. Get curious, not furious…when times get rough, turn to wonder

Sample Community Building Event Covenant

  1. Respect everything: oneself, each other, the space, and worship

  2. Clean up your own darn stuff

  3. Take space, make space

  4. Challenge yourself to grow

  5. Lessons leave, other people’s stories stay

  6. Affirmative consent--ask and get a “yes” before touching

  7. Intentionally inclusive -- form croissants not donuts

  8. Keep the mission in mind

  9. Act with good intentions and be responsible for the impact of your actions

  10. Stay curious

  11. Self care

Other additions by some youth communities:

  1. Tasteful language

Adapted from the Ohio Meadville Youth covenant

Second Example Community Event Building Covenant

We maintain covenant with each other in order to

  1. Focus on effective, intentional and thoughtful communication.
  2. Respect the needs of ourselves and our peers.
  3. Encourage radical inclusivity and aim to make each person feel valued.
  4. Hold ourselves accountable to each other, while realizing our actions impact more than our immediate community.
  5. Operate with a focus on consent: each person gets to determine how their body is touched and treated including whether or not they are photographed.

We recognize the above not as rules, but as a set of necessary values meant to aid us in sustaining a healthy community. Our covenant is fortified and made possible by our unconditional love for each other, and our determination to better the atmosphere for all attendees of a youth event.

Adapted from the St. Lawrence District Youth Covenant 2015

Additional Resources

If you want to build a deep and effective covenant we recommend this workshop on Building a Covenant.

Singleton’s Four Agreements for Courageous Conversations