Written by Mellen Kennedy; edited by Constance L. Grant
A Love Beyond Belief™covenant group is a small relational group made up of six to twelve people who meet regularly to establish and nurture themselves in their own beloved community. These covenant groups provide an opportunity for group members to build strong relationships with each other and with the larger organization of which the small group is a part.
Love Beyond Belief™ covenant groups encourage people to talk, learn, work and play together as a spiritual practice because Love Beyond Belief™ is a spiritual practice for insight, reflection and action guided by compassion.
Each step begins with the discovery of connections that create awe, care, and joy. The discoveries heal broken hearts, mend ruptured souls, and calm restless minds because unconditional love is felt.
In the language of theism, the experience of love beyond belief can be compared to an experience of God. In the language of Humanism, the experience of love beyond belief is compared to a flash of insight and understanding bringing humanity together. These experiences mark the beginning of wholeness in our broken lives.
Create a Love Beyond Belief™ covenant group during which members tell their life stories, offer support, and engage in work to serve the larger community. These kinds of covenant groups offer expanding opportunities for growth, caring and connection within a congregation. They offer caring affiliative networks, mutual responsibility, leadership opportunities, and a way for people to build and strengthen their communities.
In a covenant group, people experience a relational individuality that affirms the inherent worth and dignity of every person. People experience themselves and each other as part of the interdependent web of existence of which we are all a part. Together, people establish communities that embody the values of justice, democracy and human dignity. Each person is treated equitably. Each has a voice and is heard. And each person is respected for his or her own intrinsic humanity. The defining purpose of a Love Beyond Belief™covenant group is to bring people into right relationship with each other and with the larger world as a spiritual practice that creates acts of lovingkindness for self, others, and the world.
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