“People come to church longing for, yearning for, hoping for … a sense of roots, place, belonging, sharing and caring. People come to a church with a search for community, not committee.” — Glenn Turner
The Covenant Circle program deepens and broadens personal spiritual growth. A group usually consists of 8-10 members who meet, usually once every two weeks. Each meeting is focused on a spiritual or religious topic. The goals are to:
- Listen and be listened to in a safe place
- Learn about the mysteries of our world and our spiritual paths
- Build new and deeper personal connections
- Serve our community and the needs of one another
- Maintain personal connections and a caring community
Each group has a facilitator who links the group to the minister. The minister provide overall guidance, recruit new members and establish new groups, and develop session plans.
We have a few Covenant Circles looking to add to their group.
- 2nd & 4th Mondays, 12:30-2:00 p.m.: We meet in multi-platform format. We are all women in our 70s – 80s. We are beautiful, brilliant, kind, funny, spiritual, generous, etc etc.😉 and we bring sweets to enjoy together at our meetings! We do prefer only women.
- 1st & 3rd Wednesdays, 7:00 p.m.: We currently have 5 members (4 women and 1 man); both men and women are welcome. We rotate meetings at the homes of 3 of our members who live in Bellevue or sometimes do Zoom, depending on the weather and the current situation.
If you are interested in either group or starting a new Covenant Circle, contact Nicole Duff.
Why Join a Covenant Circle?
Here are just a few members sharing in their own words why they are in a Covenant Circle:
“I love our supportive and nurturing environment to explore our spirituality in a shared space & the deep relationships we build together through our sharing & topic discussions.”
“I enjoy Covenant Circle from the standpoint of sharing finding a topic each meeting. I also feel our group puts out topics that are topics to really think about. I also feel we have some great discussions on these topics.”
How do Covenant Circles work?
Ministry happens in the meetings, which focus on spiritual or religious topics through a process of deep listening and service projects. Topics that may be shared during meetings include: sacred places, perfection, mothers, community, living simply, music, and healing. Groups choose their own order, direction and pace. Service projects are expected from each group once a year. In general, projects tend to be ones that serve the church community or the local community, but they can be larger projects that reach beyond our church community.
What is expected of members?
Group members are expected to commit to regular meeting times and to practice deep listening. Deep listening is a way of focusing intently on what another person is saying without interruption or simultaneously formulating a response. Deep listening also gives an individual an opportunity to speak without interruption or comment.
What are Covenant Circle sessions like?
- Opening Words: Gathering in, settling down, reminding participants of the special opportunity of the gathering, possibly reflecting the topic of the session. The meeting may begin with the lighting of a candle or a chalice.
- Check-In: Participants share news of what has been happening in their lives. Each group develops its own customs as to the length of sharing. This portion of the meeting may expand from time to time when circumstances call for it.
- Topic/Discussion: A paragraph or two lays out a topic and presents questions that will elicit thoughtful discussion and significant reflection. A group may stay with a topic several weeks or be done in one evening.
- Check-Out: Likes and Wishes: This is an opportunity for feedback.
- Closing Words: This brings the formal session to and end. Groups are encouraged to start and end on time.