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  Pittsburgh, PA 15213-2999

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What is a covenant group?

A covenant group includes six to twelve church members and friends who intentionally and regularly gather to build a sense of community with one another and to share the process of personal spiritual growth. A covenant group offers opportunities for friendship, spiritual growth, mutual responsibility, leadership, and service. Many people have found that belonging to a covenant group has become one of the most important parts of their connection with First Unitarian Church.

What happens during a covenant group meeting?

First, the group takes a few moments to make a transition from the cares of the day. Next, members of the group check in with one another, sharing personal joys and sorrows. Then a leader introduces a topic for discussion using a discussion guide that provides several different ways of exploring our monthly spiritual theme. Finally, at the end of the meeting, the group takes a few moments for closure.

When and where do covenant groups meet?

Covenant groups meet one or twice each month for about one and one half hours to two hours. Some covenant groups meet on weekday evenings; some groups meet on Saturdays or Sunday; some groups meet on weekday mornings. Covenant groups may hold their meetings either at the church or in the homes of members of the group.

How many people from First Unitarian Church are members of covenant groups?

Approximately one hundred and sixty members and friends of First Unitarian Church currently participate in seventeen different covenant groups.

How long do covenant groups last?

Some groups have been meeting for more than ten years. Other groups have met for a year or two and then disbanded as members of the group moved on to other ways of being involved with the church. We ask that members of new covenant groups commit to meeting for one year.

Why the name “covenant groups”?

Members of each covenant group interact with one another in ways that reflect the principles -- or covenant -- of the Unitarian Universalist Association: honoring the inherent worth and dignity of one another, promoting justice, equity and compassion in human relations, encouraging one another to spiritual growth, and so on. In addition, members of each covenant group make a commitment to attend meetings regularly, to maintain a measure of confidentiality, and to respect the experiences, conclusions, and growth of all members of the group.

Do covenant groups do anything other than meet?

We ask that each covenant group engage in some sort of community service project at least once each year. This could be something to help our church, or it could be something to help the larger community.

How do I become part of a covenant group?

If you have been eagerly anticipating the opportunity to become part of a covenant group, or if you have been wondering just how it would feel to be part of a covenant group, please attend the upcoming Covenant Group Orientation. This event will take place from 10:00 AM to noon on Saturday, October 30, in the Schweitzer Room at First Unitarian Church. Rev. David Herndon will be leading this gathering during which you can try out the covenant group experience in a safe and supportive context.

If you decide that you would indeed like to become part of a covenant group, you may sign up so that you can be placed in a group. You can register online for the Covenant Group Orientation at by visiting the church website, www.first-unitarian-pgh.org, and then following the “Registration Forms” link to the “Covenant Group Orientation” link. Alternatively, you may register by contacting Program Assistant Sandy Regan at 412/621-8008, extension 107, or sregan@first-unitarian-pgh.org.


Interest and Orientation Sign-Up Form


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