Small Group Ministry is a vital part of many UU congregations. Groups of up to 12 people meet regularly, usually monthly,
to reflect on and discuss significant life topics. At FPS a decade ago we began one type of SGMs-Chalice Circles. We have heard from you, our congregants, that you would welcome the chance to get to know one another better – deeper. We want to reinvigorate these opportunities for you.
The Unitarian Universalist Assoc. website states “Small groups are great places to get to know other people and to get to know yourself. Over time, participants build deep connections with one another, with the congregation and with what is sacred for them.
Whether the topic is “good and evil,” “mindful living” or “letting go,” the conversation is respectful and caring and leads to greater understanding. In each session, facilitated by a member of the congregation, all participants have opportunity to share their perspectives, tell their stories, and listen deeply. The time together is structured: Groups begin and end with centering readings and often include a time of silence before the sharing begins. Many small groups also put their faith into action through service projects.”
At FPS, we have materials for small groups based on our theme of the month (in September, the theme is Unity and Diversity). Small groups can use these materials—readings, topics, etc–or choose other resources. Small groups are self-managed and the only commitment is regular attendance in the spirit of openness and respect.
The suggested format for SGM get-togethers might be:
1) check ins (brief—“what’s on top” for you today? What did you leave behind to come here?)
2) introduction of the topic and a reading
3) taking turns speaking to the topic in a heartfelt way (more suggested guidelines later). Each person gets a turn,
with no “cross-talk” or direct replies to a speaker
4) move into a time of open discussion
Rev. Marjorie plans an initial meeting at 11:45 on Sunday, September 16. Come if you can, or contact Fran in the office if you are interested. Watch for more information in upcoming newsletters about the sign-up process. We hope this proves to be a deepening process for all who choose to participate.