Covenant groups are designed to provide a small group setting in which persons can speak openly on life’s concerns and attentively listen to others doing the same. They also provide an opportunity to get better acquainted with others in the Fellowship and become real friends. Typically, these groups of 5-8 persons meet twice monthly from October to early June, although each group determines its own schedule. Contact Reverend Bode.
You May Ask: Why join a Covenant Group?
Answer: To have a place to address and share life-issues in a deeper way than is normally possible – coffee hour conversation doesn’t go far enough. Covenant Groups are also a way to get know others in the Fellowship better.
The Basics of a Covenant Group
Size: 5 to 8 people
Commitment: (Typically) October to June
Format: Groups structured the same
Covenant: Each group creates one
Service Project: Each group performs one
Purpose: To share and explore experiences and ideas – not a therapy group
Groups with fewer than 8 members are open to newcomers as they arrive. If a group member drops out, a newcomer may join. Couples may be members of one group or join different groups.
Groups are encouraged (not required) to meet twice a month. Regular attendance should be a high priority, as members are there for each other as well as for themselves.
Typical Meeting Format
Opening Words and Lighting of Chalice
A Time of Silence
Check-in: Each person is given an opportunity to check in – What’s going on in your life?
Discussion Topic: Groups may select their own topics or have them prepared by facilitators and Rev. Bode (see sample focus questions).
Check-out: How was this meeting for you?
Closing Words & Extinguishing of Chalice
Recent Topic Examples:
The Road Not Taken
Politeness versus Honesty
What Frightens You
What Decision Would You Change
The Most Important Thing You’ve Done
Perspectives on Death
Turning Points in Your Life
In the first few meetings of a Covenant Group, members develop a list of ways they commit to interact with one another and the times of their meetings, etc. Having clear expectations for communication and sharing responsibility ensures that all members benefit from the Covenant Group experience.
Once a year, each group engages in service to the congregation and/or the larger community.
Service Project Examples:
Provide a meal for Shelter Project
Provide a Sage Lunch
Adopt a grounds space and keep it tended for a period of time.
Spend a morning doing handy work for a member in need.
Join a larger project for a given day.
Host a new member event.