Living the Theme: Community on Fire (Ecclesiology: Polity and Covenant)

This is our great covenant:
To dwell together in peace,
To seek the truth in love,
And to help one another.
~ James Vila Blake

To every people the land is given on condition. Perceived or not, there is a Covenant, beyond the constitution, beyond sovereign guarantee, beyond the nation’s sweetest dreams of itself.
~ Leonard Cohen

Peace does not rest in the charters and covenants alone. It lies in the hearts and minds of all people. So let us not rest all our hopes on parchment and on paper, let us strive to build peace, a desire for peace, a willingness to work for peace in the hearts and minds of all of our people. I believe that we can. I believe the problems of human destiny are not beyond the reach of human beings.
~ John F. Kennedy

We, the members of Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Church, affirm a welcoming, vibrant, caring community for all ages.
We embrace UU values, humor, and community growth on our shared spiritual journey.
We covenant with one another to create relationships that are inclusive, open-minded, sensitive, and celebrate the differences within our community.
We will accept, support and appreciate one another, keep our commitments, maintain healthy boundaries, and use constructive communication.
We will be accountable to one another in a helpful, non-judgmental, peaceful environment, with integrity, respect and love.
~Live Oak UU Covenant of Right Relations


Revisit covenant as the ‘walls’ of our theological house

Learn about congregational decision making

Celebrate the end of the year of theology

Taking It Home

Consider creating a family covenant. Take some time to explore ways you want to behave with one another. Keep in mind that a covenant does not provide rules (“no hitting”) so much as ways of engagement (“treat each other with respect”). Light a chalice to lift the moment from the ordinary to a place of importance. Brainstorm ideas for your family covenant, and then combine the ideas to write a three- or four-line covenant. Create colorful posters to display the covenant around your home.

Obtain a copy of your congregation’s covenant. Read it together and talk about how you have seen its values in action. Share your observations about how well the covenant works in your congregation.

Family Discovery. Use history websites and books, preferably with timelines, to explore instances when groups created covenants to articulate shared expectations about behavior. For example, the U.S. Constitution can be considered a covenant among the nation’s founders, the Ten Commandments a covenant among the Hebrew people or between the Hebrew people and their God. Consider these websites as a starting off point: The Hyper History website, the Ohio State University eHistory website, the Smithsonian American History Timeline, and the University of Houston Digital History website.

A Family Ritual. If you create a family covenant together, create a recurring ritual to share it intentionally. You might say the covenant together before a shared meal or recite it once a week, lighting a chalice or candle to mark this special family time.

Our RE Stories for the Theme

“The Treehouse Rules,” Love Connects Us, Tapestry of Faith, UUA

“Game Day,” Signs of Our Faith, Tapestry of Faith, UUA