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August 3, 2002

CGNews #46

An occasional newsletter about Covenant Group Ministry read by 798 forward-looking Unitarian Universalists.


What if a thousand or more Covenant Groups in congregations all over the continent, during the anniversary week of 9/11/01, or shortly thereafter, all spent one session considering how our lives have been affected by the events of that day, subsequent events, and what we have learned?

Do you have (or would you create) a Session Plan to help facilitators guide their Covenant Groups through an hour or more of reflection?

Do you know of appropriate opening words, discussion starters, closing words, or rituals that could help members of a Covenant Group handle constructively the feelings and ideas engendered by 9/11 and its consequences?

If so, please send your ideas or your suggested Session Plan (complete with check-in and check-out, of course, and maybe even a special covenant for that one evening's meeting) to me and to Meg. We'll confer and recommend at least one or two for potential use by Covenant Groups.

Who knows what power might be generated by having a thousand or more Covenant Groups considering, at almost the same time, such a profound and emotional topic?

Please send these to me and to Meg and put something like "9/11 Covenant Group Session Plan" in the subject line. Send to: and Be sure to identify yourself and the church to which you belong so we can give credit where credit is due. Deadline? Let's say August 23.


The Thousand-Covenant-Group idea arose while I was discussing with Meg, who is a Covenant Group program leader in our All Souls Church, Washington, DC, a UUA web page project which I hope may interest many of you also: the collection of materials for worship services marking the first anniversary of the attacks on the U.S.

Meg and Debbie Weiner of the UUA are seeking submissions of worship resources of all kinds, including chalice lightings, prayers, meditations, sermons, children's stories, newsletter columns, music, benedictions, introduction to candle lighting for the congregation, and readings.

UUA President Bill Sinkford will add a prayer for this section of the UUA web page, and it is the UUA's hope that the material collected will be useful to congregations marking the anniversary. Deadline for submission: August 16. Send those materials to: or


By the way, Meg says Covenant Groups are going great at All Souls in Washington. She, the Rev. Alida DeCoster, and the Rev. Rob Cavenaugh are working with the facilitators of the groups. Meg reports that there are waiting lists for all 10 or 12 Covenant Groups now up and running.


Under the title "Covenant Group Ministry", the UUA now has a "list serve," an electronic place in which those who join may exchange ideas, questions, concerns, solutions, and stories about Covenant Group Ministry. To subscribe, for free, go to:

As more people sign on, this will be come an increasingly interesting opportunity for creative interaction. The submissions are moderated by Cheryl Ring and the Rev. Ellen Spiro, both experienced Covenant Group leaders.

Know someone who might be interested in this topic? Feel free to forward Covenant Group News to others. Unitarian Universalists may feel free to use this material in any manner consistent with the growth of our liberal religion. Otherwise, all rights are reserved.

If you are not already receiving this free email newsletter and you want to, please go to and look for my page. There you'll find a sign-up box and all the archived back issues.

The Rev. Robert. L. Hill,
District Executive for the SW District, UUA,
405 701-2917