Symposium Slides & Intel on Covenant

The focus of this week’s Zoom Symposium was Covenant. We hope our slides and video, as well as the sharing of ideas among congregations, are helpful as you continue to build and honor your covenantal relationships in your congregations and with the UUA.

The symposium covered the origins of covenant in our faith, the many areas of congregational life in which covenant plays a role, including stewardship, and the broader covenants with our sister congregations and the UUA.

We polled symposium participants on the covenants they have in their own congregations:

  • 47% – covenant words used in opening readings
  • 26% – covenant of right relations
  • 16% – covenant in child dedications
  • 11% – covenant in new member ceremonies

The last third of the symposium was used for breakout groups, where congregants shared ideas about how they would integrate covenant into their stewardship practices. Here are a few:

  • We appreciate those that can give and try to hold everyone in this difficult time. We are seeing a desire for a return to normalcy and the stewardship drive is part of that.
  • Make stewardship implicit in our new member covenant.
  • Set up e-care groups online groups to check on people; the groups can be both pastoral and stewardship as needed.  
  • Keep compassion as your first priority.
  • Board is acting as stewardship team – keeping connections with phone calls-check-ins and stewardship messages.
  • The way that we are caring for one another right now is a deeply relational expression of covenant.
  • Incorporate a visiting steward covenant into our stewardship efforts, even when visits are by phone or video.

Even if you did not participate in the symposium, please use the comment feature below or email us at to share an idea with others, ask a question or suggest a topic for a future symposium.

James Vila Blake authored these words about covenant in 1894 and our congregations use this or a similar variant to this day: 

Love is the spirit of this church
and service is its law;
this is our great covenant:
to dwell together in peace,
to seek truth in love,
and to help one another.

Join us Fridays, for the near term, at 10am PT / 11am MT / 12pm CT / 1pm ET, for a symposium on stewardship tips and sharing of ideas.

Thank you to all who are helping our congregations manage stewardship during these unprecedented times!