Small-Group Ministry

Everyone speaks. Everyone is heard. 

In Covenant Groups, we look within ourselves and find stories drawn from the wellsprings of our own lives. We bring stories of individual victories and defeats, personal fears and disappointments, private insights and concerns. Each person shares; others listen.

At Live Oak, members and friends join together to press the pause button. For a time, we can dismiss the frenetic pace of our daily lives to enter into covenant with each other and the sacred. We tap the profound memories and hopes that shape our lives. In our sharing, we sink the deeper, more interconnected roots that sustain our community.

What is a Covenant meeting like?

Each session focuses on a theme and reading. Some readings address spiritual topics, such as gratitude, balance, nature, or God. Other readings reflect themes such as listening, loss and grief, forgiveness, or friendship. Some readings will mirror the Minister’s sermon topics. Members respond to the topic questions by sharing personal experiences and feelings. Covenant groups  are not study groups or debate teams, but rather focus on sharing and listening. We follow a consistent pattern that includes an in-gathering, candle lighting, a sharing of highs and lows over the past month, silence, shared readings and personal responses, announcements, and closing words.

 Where and when groups meet?

Each Chalice Circle decides whether to meet in participants’ homes or on campus - or. on Zoom. Groups meet once a month for 90-120 minutes. In addition, Covenant groups engage in service to the congregation or larger community.

How big is a Covenant group?

The ideal size is 7-10 members, including a facilitator. As the circumstances of people’s lives change, the membership of a group may change. New members will be welcomed in an ongoing group with an opening or in a newly formed group.

How long do groups last?

Sign up for Covenant groups in September, with groups beginning in October and running through June. If the group chooses, meetings can continue through the summer. In September, groups may be reconfigured or continue with openings for new members.

Who leads Covenant Groups?

Some groups rotate the role of facilitator among themselves. Others prefer the skill of one facilitator. Facilitators meet with each other and the minister 1-2 times per year to share ideas and learn skills to invite contemplation and compassionate, deep listening and sharing within their groups.  

Is there a program or curriculum?

Some of our Covenant groups pull ideas from previously published UU sources; some choose to read a book together as a centerpiece for meaningful reflection and connection. Others use the Unitarian-Universalist Association-produced small-group ministry curriculum, Soul Matters, containing a variety of paths into sharing. 

To see a sample Soul Matters curriculum packet, click this link:

Examples of Soul Matters Themes

September: Welcome
October:  Heritage
November: Generosity
December: Mystery
January: Liberating Love
February: Justice & Equity
March: Transformation
April: Interdependence
May: Pluralism
June: Renewal

How do I sign up?

Click here to complete an interest form. You may scan and email to our administrator:, or drop it in the mail or in her folder in the Farmhouse hallway when you're on campus for Sunday service.

We hope you'll join us for meaningful conversation that enriches our lives.