Covenant Groups

Members of these groups make a covenant regarding the way they will be with one another and a commitment to attend. Anyone who is in agreement with the group’s purpose and plan is welcome to join a group. One need not be a member of our congregation to participate.

Covenant Groups meet monthly for two hours and generally use the following structure: chalice lighting with a short reading from a UU source, about 45 minutes for members to check in, introduction of the topic and discussion, likes and wishes to guide in shaping the next meeting, and closing words.

If one of the following groups interests you, please call the group leader for more information. If you have an idea for a new covenant group or other questions regarding this program, contact Rev. Judy Tomlinson at (973) 744-6276, ext. 16 or send an email to:

Our Positive Place covenant group welcomes family members of people with a mental illness. Our mission is empowerment, friendship and support. In a confidential setting, we strive to increase hope and optimism and reduce isolation by sharing experiences with others who are traveling a similar path.
Leader: Carol McGough

In our Soul Matters group we help each other become the people we most want to be, we offer the stories of our lives and quiet to allow the inner teacher to inform us and we create a community of connection. Rev. Rebecca Parker writes “There is a quality of listening that is possible among a circle of human beings, who by their attentiveness to one another create a space in which each person is able to give voice to the truth of his or her life. There is the miracle of authentic narrative, made possible by listening that holds still long enough to let the truth be told. Where there is this kind of listening and speaking, a new kind of community is born – a community of life.” Sharing and listening will be focused on our monthly themes: home, transformation, family, happiness, prayer, deep listening, possibility, purpose, perception and humility.
Leader: Rev. Judy Tomlinson

In the Short Fiction Reading Convenant Group, each month we typically read 30-35 pages of short fiction from various collections of short stories and come prepared for a good discussion.  We are a group of more mature folks that usually meet on the 4th Tuesday afternoon of each month at 1:30 pm.  We meet in different members homes for our discussions, with good food and  lots of laughter. We are now looking for more members. We have lost a few members this year because of moving and/or illness. This is also an excellent time to join our group as we will be choosing a new book of Short Stories to read beginning in the New Year.  If you enjoy reading Short Stories and are free for a couple of hours on a Tuesday afternoon come and join us.  We welcome all interested persons.  Join us now so you can help us select our new books.
Leader: Irene Sanderson

The Meditation Covenant Group meets on the fourth Monday of every month from 7:00-9:00 PM in the Mortenson Room. Group members are led through a short guided relaxation meditation before exploring the topic of the month. We will then meditate on the topic silently (with minimal guidance) after which a brief period will be spent on the optional sharing of insights gained. Please wear comfortable clothing and feel free to bring your meditation cushion if you have one and would like to do so. This group is open to anyone who is interested in cultivating inner peace and happiness through meditation practice, including those with no prior experience.
Leader: Mary Landowski

The What is God? Covenant Group discusses the meaning of the most associated word in any language. The group looks at our conscious and unconscious conditioning toward the word ‘god’. How much of our definition is based on experience and how much is conditioned? Is there any definition? We do our best to find true meaning from the word. Meeting time is determined by the majority of participants. Leader Stephen Bryant has led groups on “Perception” and “The Search for the True Self.”
Leader: Stephen Bryant

The Poetry Covenant Group was one of the original covenant groups that was started about 10 years ago. This group is open to those who enjoy reading poetry and sharing this love with others. We usually meet on either the 3rd or the last Sunday of the month. Each meeting date and a theme is usually established at the previous meeting. After the reading of each poem there is an opportunity for a discussion of the offering. These discussions may be short or long depending on how the group is moved. Bring your favorite poem to share with us and be prepared for a good time with this group.
Leader: Ginny Crooks

Our Writing as Spiritual Practice Covenant Group will use structured writing exercises to explore our beliefs and enrich our understanding of our individual spiritual journeys. After writing in response to a question or topic, we will share an excerpt of our work and discuss its meaning. No writing experience is required or expected. We meet on the third Saturday of the month at 9:00 AM.
Leader: Laura Wilson

Food Diplomacy is getting increasing attention at the UN and elsewhere, building bridges worldwide.  We will use food, as a gateway to learn about ourselves and another culture.   Monthly, we will choose a world region and prepare a meal from that cuisine. We will invite a knowledgeable guest to add insight into their gastronomic history.   Everyone will prepare some part of the meal to bring with us that evening.  We will meet 1 Friday per month, timing recommended 7:30 – 9:30 PM. Group Clean up is mandatory!  All will be in the spirit of fun, fellowship, learning, and taste. 
Leaders: Nelia Sellers