Link to onrealm.org

The UU Small Group Ministry Network distributes a journal to members of the UU SGM Network twice a year.   The SGM Journal contains articles, tips and other resources on Unitarian Universalist small group ministry and covenant groups.  Their web site is: http://www.smallgroupministry.net

Ted Lau has an article titled "Ministerial Search Committee as Covenant Group" in the Fall 2013/Winter 2014 Small Group Ministry Journal.

Click here to pull up the journal and read Ted's article (which can be found on page 5).


How can I obtain more information?

To find out more about Eliot Covenant Groups or if you know of a group that you wish to join, please contact: 

covenantgroups@eliotchapel.org or 314-821-0911.

Are You Interested In Becoming a Covenant Group Facilitator?

Click here to read the Covenant Group Facilitator Description

If you are interested in becoming a facilitator, please contact the minister or email covenantgroups@eliotchapel.org.


What are Covenant Groups?

Covenant Groups are small, supportive sharing groups of six to ten people. They are based on attentive listening, acceptance and right relationships. The central feature is a promise we make to one another to build trust, share openly and care for one another in the highs and lows of our individual lives. Covenant Groups are not therapy groups; if a facilitator feels participants would benefit from therapy, the minister will be contacted. In addition to the encouragement of personal growth and spiritual exploration, the Covenant Group promise contains an element of service in which the group as a whole engages in a project serving the larger community and/or the church.

Click here to review Covenant Group Guidelines.


What are the benefits of joining a Covenant Group?

Covenant Groups:

  • Allow the entire congregation to engage in ministry
  • Encourage personal growth and spiritual exploration
  • Provide opportunities for service, social outreach and deepening relationships
  • Engage participants in right relations and hospitality
  • Are based on attentive listening and acceptance
  • Promote congregational health, growth and leadership1 

1Welcome to the Unitarian Universalist Small Group Ministry Network (www.smallgroupministry.net).


How does a typical Eliot Covenant Group work?

Eliot Covenant Groups meet twice a month for 6 months, or once a month for 12 months, or longer. Held in homes or at Eliot, the 1 1/2 to 2-hour meetings are led by lay people who have undergone facilitator trainingOur Covenant Groups typically follow this format: 

  • Opening Words
  • Check-in (a time to share any big news you may have and get to know others)
  • Centering Reading (introduces the topic for the session, which is usually of ethical, spiritual or personal significance)
  • Reflective Questions
  • Sharing
  • Likes and Wishes (feedback for this session)
  • Closing Reading 

Covenant Groups are not therapy or encounter groups. Group members listen to each other, but don’t attempt to solve each other’s problems. Instead, they encourage respectful listening, confidentiality and speaking from one’s own experiences. Some groups have ongoing themes. Some have social time before or after the formal session.


Who is eligible to join a Covenant Group? 

To join a Covenant Group, it is recommended that you be a member of Eliot Chapel or be on the path to membership, having completed the “Introduction to our Faith” class (to become better acquainted with Unitarian Universalism and our tradition of covenants).