A Message from Rev. Barbara and the Transition Team

Repentance and Repair: Courage to Covenant

Join UUFD for small-group conversations around UUA’s Common Read, “On Repentance and Repair,” by Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg

Have you ever become tangled in different viewpoints or conflict with someone else and wished for better tools to work out differences? Perhaps you’ve walked away from conflicted situations without reaching resolution? Even as people of faith, even when we wish to make amends, we often get stuck on how to make things better. As people of faith, even when our relationships and teams are working well, we may want to gain new skills or have a touchstone to ensure we remain on the path.  In short, how do we get in and remain in covenant with one another?

A core practice for living in positive relationships among Unitarian Universalists is “covenant,” which is deep in our roots dating back to the seventeenth century.  Covenants are our promises for how we walk together to create compassionate, respectful, trusting relationships. We say that UU is a covenantal, not a creedal, faith. We are bound together by our commitment to common values and actions, connected by “deeds, not creeds.”  Our promises—covenants—for how we are together go beyond congregational life to our families, neighborhoods, places of employment, and volunteer organizations. One important aspect of covenant is being accountable to one another, especially when there are conflicts. As UUs who are committed to “righting the wrongs” in the public square, we may forget this same work sometimes needs to be done at home—in our own congregation—so we may be in covenant with one another. Being clear about our congregational covenant is especially important during this ministerial search, when we at UUFD are discerning our core identity and vision for our fellowship.

To explore these important themes of covenant and accountability, we have a wonderful opportunity to be guided by an important new book, the UUA “Common Read” for 2023-24. On Repentance and Repair by Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg is described as “a fresh, transformative perspective on how we make ourselves accountable to others.” Rabbi Ruttenberg guides us through a five-step process for accountability, beginning with owning harms we have done others, culminating in making different life choices as we go forward. She guides us through “repentance and repair” in our personal lives, in congregational life, and in the public square.

Rev. Barbara and the UUFD Transition Team (Tom Miller, Mike Trefry, Judy Hayes, Teresa Jordan, Kathleen Adams) have scheduled small-group conversations to explore these important themes during four weeks this fall: the weeks of September 10, October 1, October 22, and November 12.  We will be using the guides created by UUA for the exploration of Ruttenberg’s book.

We recognize you all have different schedules and busy lives.  The schedule below is our attempt to recognize that and offer these conversations during a variety of times so as many of you as possible have the opportunity to participate.  All conversations will be held in Bowman Hall.

Monday Conversations Thursday Conversations Saturday Conversations
Meet 7 pm – 8:30 pm Meet 2 pm – 3:30 pm Meet 1 pm – 2:30 pm

September 11

October 2

October 23

November 13


September 14

October 5

October 26

November 16


September 16

October 7

October 28

November 18

All materials will be provided, but if you would like to purchase the book, here are the links: the hardcover can be purchased from the InSpirit Book Store, and the ebook can be purchased as a Kindle ebook.

Please register (click here) for the set of conversations you would like to attend so we may correctly plan space and handouts.  Each small group conversation will be facilitated by Rev. Barbara and a member of the Transition Team. At the end of the series, we will schedule a make-up conversation for any topics you may have missed.

We realize this scheduling may seem complicated on first reading. For any questions, please contact Rev. Barbara at intmin@durangouu.org.  We look forward to spending time with you during your choice of conversations.