Sharing Circles for Reflection and Growth
In a large congregation like ours, one of the best ways to get to know others and feel a sense of belonging is to join a small group. Whether you are new to us or have been a member for years, our Theme Circles, Chalice Circles and occasional Sunday Circles are a wonderful way to meet new people, foster meaningful connections, and deepen your personal spiritual journey.
All circle programs include groups of six to ten people who gather for meetings following a similar format. They open with a chalice lighting, have a check-in, and share readings that are pertinent to the topic of that particular meeting. One or two rounds of individual sharing comprises the greatest portion of the time. Meetings end with a closing reading and extinguishing the chalice.
In all circles, members agree to a set of their own guidelines which may include confidentiality, active listening, withholding judgement, etc.
Theme Circles meet at the Meeting House, or a member’s house, or Zoom once per month for two hours to discuss, explore and reflect upon our monthly spiritual theme. Groups are designed to be time-limited rather than ongoing. Sign-up is generally held in September for the fall term which lasts four months, and January for the spring term which runs five months. Once groups are formed they are closed to additional members until the following term when new groups form.
Each circle is led by a trained facilitator and follows a program outlined in the monthly guide called The Path. This publication (which is available to everyone in the congregation) includes readings, thought-provoking questions and additional resources that help participants clarify their thoughts and feelings about the monthly theme.
For more information about or to sign up for Theme Circles, please email [email protected].
Sunday Circles provide time for connection with others after the service through a “deeper dive” with a more structured format than Coffee Hour. Groups of five to eight members, friends, or guests meet to reflect upon the sermon topic and/or how they are doing, taking turns speaking and listening. A facilitator is present to help guide the time together.
Chalice Circles meet at the Meeting House, a member’s home, or Zoom twice per month on an ongoing basis. So you sign up once for a group and stay as long as you like.
Topics vary by group and meeting. The leader may choose a topic, the monthly theme may be used, there might be no topic, participants might suggest a topic, or the group may have a special interest that is pursued. Some groups share a snack or light meal before or during their time together.
Chalice Circles provide an opportunity for personal growth over time. As members embark on a shared journey they find meaning, hope, courage, and a sense of belonging. In practicing deep listening, members “minister” to each other. In addition, each small group makes an effort to perform some kind of service each year to the congregation or the larger community. Chalice Circles with current openings include: Eckhart Tolle, Mindful Mondays, Wise Together, Drop-in Chalice Circle, Seekers, LGBTQIA+, and Exploring Paganism. For more information about or to sign up for Chalice Circles, please email [email protected].
For more information and meeting times, check our current Chalice Circles and Theme Circles list.