Introducing the Practice of Covenant

A covenant is a commitment for how to “be” together. Unlike a contract, which is all about what to “do” together, a covenant is designed to hold people in relationship when we can’t be sure about what lies ahead.

At first, a covenant looks like a beautifully written list of commitments that you read once and never look at again. But a covenant only lives in a community when we return to it again and again, actively reflecting on how we’re living into it. That means celebrating where we’ve upheld it and recognizing where we’ve fallen short.

Mistakes in our community are inevitable, and this covenant is designed to help us find a way back to one another after they happen. A covenant isn’t a list of do’s and don’ts. (There is a thorough community engagement policy to review here, including clear anti-harassment policies, for example.) Instead, the covenant below will act as a continued invitation for your heart, one that we will read aloud time and again in each of our small-group conversations. In this way, it will serve as a ritual, shaping us over time into the people – and the community – that we aspire to be.

The Nearness Covenant

We covenant to center ourselves on the sacred:

Though we travel different paths, may we find comfort and hope in the gift of each other’s company.