Covenant groups provide an opportunity to get to know other people at a deeper level, in a consistent small group, while discussing topics that explore our spiritual paths as informed by life experience.
They are groups of up to nine First Parish people who meet once a month to get to know one another, and themselves, in a deeper way. Groups meet for two hours and follow a format that includes a brief reflection, an opening question or check-in, a reading on the evening’s theme, structured sharing and discussion on the theme, closing “wishes and likes” about the meeting from participants, and a closing reflection.
Members commit to meet with their group monthly from January through December (except for July and August when groups either do not meet or may meet for a potluck or other informal event). All groups except for one meet at First Parish.
In covenant groups, we listen deeply to each other and come to understand each other across generations and states of life that in other contexts might seem like barriers to communication. Together we form friendships, enrich each other’s lives, reflect on our own lives, and strengthen the fabric of this congregation.
Each group has a convener or co-conveners who facilitate the meetings and do the necessary logistics, such as sending meeting reminders. Each month, one convener develops a theme to be used in all the groups that month (though occasionally some conveners will use a different theme, as they deem appropriate). Conveners meet as a group to work with that month’s theme and to support each other. Some recent themes include gratitude, loss, longing, unfinished business, experiences of community, and compassion.
Each year in the fall, we hold an hour-long participatory demonstration where interested people can learn firsthand how covenant groups are run. Sign-ups for groups start in November. Great effort is made to place everyone who wants to be in a group, but sometimes, due to scheduling issues and the number of open slots, this is not possible. Currently, we have ten groups involving almost 90 First Parish people.
Questions? Contact covenantgroups @ firstparish.info
Click here to read more about covenant groups.