Small Groups 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 and Chalice Circles are a wonderful way to meet new people, foster meaningful connections, and deepen your personal spiritual journey.
Both 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 both programs, members agree to a set of guidelines which include confidentiality, active listening, withholding judgement, etc.
Theme Circles meet at the Meeting House 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 Theme Circles, please email ThemeCircles@uusociety.org.
Chalice Circles (formerly Small Group Ministry) meet at the Meeting House or a member’s home 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.
For more information about Chalice Circles, please email ChaliceCircles@uusociety.org.