Covenant Group News

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Monday, April 30, 2007

CGNews #88

Covenant Group News is a free electronic newsletter on Small Group Ministry and Covenant Groups read by 1300 forward-looking Unitarian Universalists. CGNews is edited by Peter Freedman Bowden ( and distributed by the UU Small Group Ministry Network (

Contrary to popular belief our network is not funded by the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, though we did start with funding from the UU Funding Program. Reality Check: We are a grassroots organization made up of you, me, and the thousands of other UUs working with this ministry... We are funded by a membership program ($35 per individual and $60 per congregation annually). Your memberships make all the groovy things we do possible. -- Peter

* Message from Peter Bowden
* New Sessions from Jolinda Stephens
* An Invitation from Skinner House Books
* New UUSC Small Group Resources
* New Sessions from Rev. Amy Bowden Freedman & Channing Church

Message from Peter Bowden

April 30th, 2007

Three years ago this June the UU Small Group Ministry Network was launched as an organization to promote and support UU small group ministries and covenant groups. We've accomplished a great deal since then, from compiling free sessions plans online and publishing the SGM Quarterly to offering GA workshops and week long Summer trainings. We have been working to build a network that can meet our shared need for small group ministry resources.

We've come a long way, but there is still much to do. Our network -- including you if you are reading this -- is a peer network. We are group participants, facilitators, coaches, coordinators, ministers and others working to deepen our faith, change lives, and heal our hurting world through this ministry. I believe the only way we can realize our potential as a movement is through strong relationships and the small groups that give rise to them. As our small group ministries grow and evolve, so too will our association. If you share this view, I'd like to invite you to become a member of our network for $35 per year.

Your individual memberships allow us to advance this ministry, to coordinate our efforts, and to move our movement. Members of our network receive the SGM Quarterly, our journal, in the mail four times per year. Please join me in creating healthy congregations and a vital Unitarian Universalist movement through our shared ministry. You may use the link below to download our membership form. If you would like to join as a congregation ($60 annually) take this form to your congregation's small group leadership.

Download Membership Form

New and existing members, thank you for your support! To the other ~987 of you - let us know how we can improve. If you're reading this message you must have some resource, networking or training need related to small groups. We want to hear from you.

Two more sessions from Jolinda Stephen's

Sessions 1-6 of Jolinda Stephen's Radical Hospitality series are now available through our session page. Jolinda Stephens is Director for Lifespan Religious Programming Unitarian Universalist Church of the Monterey Peninsula. Sessions in Rich Text Format (RTF).

Visit Session Page or download sessions directly...

Session #1 Posted 3/17/07
Session #2 Posted 3/17/07
Session #3 Posted 3/17/07
Session #4 Posted 3/17/07
Session #5 Posted 4/30/07
Session #6 Posted 4/30/07

If you have sessions to share please email them to me as Word Documents, Rich Text, or PDF files. Thanks!


Invitation from Skinner House Books

Skinner House Books is actively seeking proposals for resources to be used in small group ministry. Some particular topics of interest are:

  • Spiritual parenting
  • UU Principles
  • UU Sources
  • Theology in daily life
  • Anti-racism/anti-oppression
  • Multiculturalism
  • Generosity
  • Peacemaking

If you are doing small-group work on any of these topics and would like to submit a proposal, or if you have another idea you’d like to suggest, please consider yourself warmly invited to contact me at 617/948-4603 or

UUSC offering new resources for small groups

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee is pleased to announce the development of Covenant Group Ministry resources. With these resources, UUSC supports members of the UU community in: the search for connection with each other and the larger global community; the quest for meaningful engagement with life’s most challenging questions; and the pursuit to engage more effectively with local, national, and global social justice initiatives.

The Covenant Group resources will include modules of 4-6 sessions for UUSC’s major program areas: civil liberties, environmental justice, economic justice, and rights in humanitarian crises. These web-based resources will be available at in late May.

Stay tuned for more information on UUSC's presence at General Assembly 2007 in Portland, Ore., at the Small Group Ministry Network booth and events as well as distribution of print resources.

Carie Johnsen, UUSC ministerial intern, who has led the development of these new resources, will facilitate two Small Group Ministry circles during General Assembly 2007. If you are interested in participating, please contact Carie at Participation will be limited.

12 Sessions from Rev. Amy Freedman and Channing Church

This batch of 12 sessions come courtesy of my wife, the Rev. Amy Bowden Freedman of Channing Church in Newport, RI. -- Peter

Truth. By Bill Peresta. Channing Church, Newport, RI.

Respect. Channing Church, Newport, RI.

The First UU Principle. Channing Church, Newport, RI.

Caring. By Rev. Amy Bowden Freedman.

Creating Paradise. By Rev. Amy Bowden Freedman.

Our Deep UU Source. By Rev. Amy Bowden Freedman.

Engaging Our Theological Diversity. By Rev. Amy Bowden Freedman. Based on the UUA Commission on Appraisal's report Engaging Our Theological Diversity.

From the UUA Bookstore:
Engaging Our Theological Diversity is an "in-depth commentary on the wide variety of Unitarian Universalist theological beliefs and the ways in which this diversity is a source of enrichment and conflict. Probes the questions: What is at the center of our faith? What holds us together as a community."

Pilgrimage. Designed for use as last session before a Summer break. By Rev. Amy Bowden Freedman.

Radical Hospitality. By Rev. Amy Bowden Freedman.

Silence. By Rev. Amy Bowden Freedman.

Spiritual Experiences . By Rev. Amy Bowden Freedman.

Spiritual Growth. By Rev. Amy Bowden Freedman.