Covenant Groups

It has been said that people join churches for three reasons: to have a sense of community, to deepen their spiritual growth, and to give of themselves. Covenant Groups are a way of providing these three essentials.

Participation in a Covenant Group allows you to engage and connect with others at a deeper level. Meetings are held once a month at a member’s home or at Summit and usually last two hours. There are 8 to 10 people in a group, which is led by a facilitator. The time is spent sharing personal experiences, feelings, or thoughts that come from reflections about a given topic. Topics are chosen by the facilitators but the ideas for topics arise from the groups themselves.

Covenant Groups are not a place to give or receive guidance or advice about personal problems. They do however lead to personal and spiritual growth and a sense of community. The group may choose to participate in a service project which unites them further as a group. The commitment to a group lasts one year. Attendance to the monthly meetings needs to be a priority.

Sign up

Annual sign up occurs in February. It may be possible to join throughout the year if there is an opening.

Membership

Groups are open to adults who are members, or who are friends of Summit. Most groups contain members of different ages, backgrounds and interests. Some groups have a special interest such as the men’s group.

Meeting Times and Places

Each group meets once a month, which ensures that group members stay connected. Groups meet for about two hours, long enough to follow the format and explore a topic in depth. Participants are expected to make a commitment for a year and to attend most meetings.

Format

  • Opening Words and Lighting of the Chalice
  • Check-in
  • Topic
  • Check-out
  • Closing words and Extinguishing of the Chalice

Topic

The topic of each meeting serves as a springboard for reflection on deeper issues of who we are and what gives our lives meaning. Ideas for topics should be given to facilitators and the covenant facilitators will decide on topics at their monthly meeting. All Covenant Groups discuss the same topic each month.

Covenant

Making connections with other people is easier when we understand how they like to be treated. In the first few meetings of a Covenant Group, members develop a covenant describing the ways they want to interact with one another. Members also contribute to the routine activities of the group by choosing the readings, hosting the gatherings, and reminding others of meeting times and places. Having clear expectations for communication and sharing responsibility for group activities ensures that all members benefit from the Covenant Group experience.

Service

Some groups may chose to engage in service to the congregation and the larger community. Service projects may arise out of discussion topics or personal experience of group members. Serving together as a group gives members a chance to understand how values and actions shape each other. Some potential service projects can be volunteering at a homeless shelter, participating in an Earth Day cleanup, providing refreshments for Sunday services or assisting seniors.

Questions?

Contact: Pat Bryning

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