Contact Rev. Laura Horton-Ludwig
When we sit quietly in a Covenant Group meeting with 10 or so people we have come to know and trust, when we can tell some of our own story and hear some of the stories of others, we can begin to know ourselves in a new way for the first time. It is not narcissistic or selfish for us to talk of our personal experience, for through revealing ourselves we can change our relationships. Through exploring our relationship with the world, we can choose how to participate more fully in the world. What occurs among us is not simply pleasant conversation, but truly creative interchange that can bring new levels of understanding. The commitment is simple: agree to show up faithfully for the group’s monthly meetings, to remain in the group for a year, to respect the confidentiality of the conversation at meetings, and to follow the process guided by the facilitator. Groups meet at various times throughout the week, most in the evening but a few in the daytime. Some groups meet at UUCF, others in members’ homes. Some of our groups started this year; others have been meeting faithfully for a number of years. Though their primary function is to meet together for deep conversation, groups sometimes undertake a service project at UUCF or in the community. One group recently visited a Laotian Buddhist center to experience their worship and hospitality.
Groups agree to explore subjects that deepen their religious experience and enhance their spiritual lives. Theme readings or agreed-upon topics focus the discussion. Some groups explore the monthly worship themes. Other groups have explored topics including: How do you feel about yourself and your life? How do you feel about others and your relationships? What things bring you real joy? What things are you afraid of? These are the kinds of questions that might be discussed in a Covenant Group. The discussion is often deep and meaningful, at times simply because it is about subjects we don’t often bring up. Discussions are respectful and non-judgmental.
Covenant group leaders are group members trained to facilitate discussions. UUCF’s covenant group steering committee provides support and resources to the groups.