Connect | Right Relationship with Others
Come, be held in mutual embrace.
"Douglas Steere, a Quaker teacher, says that the ancient question, “What am I?” inevitably leads to a deeper one, “Whose am I?”—because there is no identity outside of relationships. You can’t be a person by yourself. To ask, “Whose am I?” is to extend the questions far beyond the little self-absorbed self, and wonder: Who needs you? Who loves you? To whom are you accountable? To whom do you answer? Whose life is altered by your choices? With whose life, whose lives, is your own all bound up, inextricably, in obvious or invisible ways?” ― Rev Bruce Davis
Unitarian Universalists Are Covenantal
Unitarian Universalists are relational
we travel together in Covenant.
Our Covenantal Church
"I think that sometimes in our churches we stress the fact that we are not a creedal church a lot more than we stress that we are a covenantal church. . . .We over-emphasize the fact that we are not necessarily required to believe in God or believe a certain doctrine about the Bible or the afterlife. And we under-emphasize the covenantal dimensions of our shared faith. . . .So, what does it mean to say that we are a covenantal faith anyway? A covenant is a set of enduring, but evolving, deeply held promises made between people and with the source of life itself. . . . What are the covenants we share together?
Respect each other’s worth and dignity, . . . “We need not think alike to love alike” is a covenantal statement.
Inclusion—we are all equally chosen people—so part of our covenant helps to make all feel welcome regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, or physical ability.
Community―our covenant is not insular, is not the property of those of us inside these walls. It reaches outward, into the community.
Covenant is larger than creed. Our covenants in this church—made with one another and with the spirit and source of life itself—are powerful. The promises we make have the power to change lives; the promises call upon us to live up to our best selves, to summon forth our true, authentic, vulnerable, and passionate selves."
― Rev Thom Belote, excerpts from Covenantal
Come Into Covenant
A covenant group includes six to twelve church members and friends who intentionally and regularly gather to build a sense of community with one another and to share the process of personal spiritual growth. A covenant group offers opportunities for friendship, spiritual growth, mutual responsibility, leadership, and service. Many people have found that belonging to a covenant group has become one of the most important parts of their connection with UU Santa Fe.
Rev Victoria Stafford reminds us, "not in the binding language of contract, but in the life-sustaining fluency of covenant, from covenir, to ‘travel together’ . . . covenant is the work of intimate justice.”
Soul Matters | New This Year
UU Santa Fe’s monthly spiritual Soul Matters’ themes provide structure and depth for our worship services, covenant group discussions, and adult learning experiences. We use an annual cycle of monthly spiritual themes to explore our worship themes in more depth and live out our Unitarian Universalist values in daily life.
Monthly Spiritual Themes | Go Deeper!
Our covenant groups may elect to use Soul Matters discussion packets for their groups. This rich resource supports our small groups; packets include spiritual exercises, questions that encourage reflection on daily living, and provocative resources that help members see “old themes” in a new light. Themes this year are:
2017-2018 Themes: What does it mean to be a people of ...
- December: Hope
- January: Intention
- February: Perseverance
- March: Balance
- April: Emergence
- May: Creativity
- June: Blessing
Join a Soul Fire Covenant Group
We currently have two covenant groups, each of which has been in existence for over a decade and whose participants have changed, ebbed and flowed over that time.
- Kindred Spirits facilitated by Cheryl Fossum Graham; meets 1st & 3rd Thurs afternoons; this group has a spiritual bias; this group is at maximum size and currently not seeking new members
- Reading for Growth facilitated by Bill Austin; meets 2nd & 4th Tues mornings; this group has a humanist bias; two or three more members would be welcome
- Soul Fire 1(a working title only!)–newly forming
- Soul Fire 2 (a working title only!)–newly forming
During the first quarter 2018, we are actively forming two (or more!) new groups. To express your interest in joining a new or existing covenant group, you may register online here or contact our religious educator with a note saying you are interested in Covenant Groups and we will see that your needs are met.
We welcome all persons, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin; gender or gender identification, affectional preference or sexual orientation; age, physical or mental challenge; or social, economic, or marital status. Come, there is a place for you here.
Come, open to be moved. Come, be held in mutual embrace.
Come, engage the world. Come and be made whole.