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In a large congregation like UUCF, Covenant Groups help people find what UU theologian James Luther Adams called “intimacy and ultimacy.” A covenant group is a small relational group (about 10 people) that comes together for a common purpose. The group structures and nurtures caring relationships and provides an opportunity for members to explore life issues in a spiritual context.
Group members agree to show up faithfully for the group’s monthly meetings, to remain in the group for a year and to respect the confidentiality process guided by the facilitator.
Groups meet at various times throughout the week. Most meet 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 many of years. Though their primary function is to meet for deep conversation, groups sometimes undertake a service project at UUCF or in the community.
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 brings you real joy? What are you afraid of? 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.