There is a quality of listening that is possible among a circle of human beings, who by their attentiveness to one another create a space in which each person is able to give voice to the truth of his or her life. There is the miracle of authentic narrative, made possible by listening that holds still long enough to let the truth be told. Where there is this kind of listening and speaking, a new kind of community is born – a community of life. – Rebecca Parker, Unitarian Theologian

I pin my hopes to quiet processes and small circles, in which vital and transforming events take place. – Rufus Jones, Quaker historian & theologian

Our Chalice Circles are designed to foster deeper connections within our church community by providing a space to explore spiritual questions and matters of the heart in a loving atmosphere based in compassionate listening.

The groups are all designed for 8-10 people and vary in duration, frequency of meeting, and topics for reflection.

If you have any questions about which group might be right for you, please reach out. Ideas for new Chalice Circles are also welcome — please contact Rev. Joan

Small Group Ministry
In these groups, participants create a covenant to guide their sharing and reflection. Themed readings are provided for reflection. The heart of each session is sharing and listening to one another’s reflections on the topic and readings. Each group also participates in a service project together.

Following a model developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association, participants in a Small Group Ministry meet regularly to discuss topics raised by the weekly sermons.  These groups allow for deeper and more meaningful engagement with others in an atmosphere of spiritual sharing.  Many members and friends of the church have participated in these groups over the past few years, and often say they have found it a wonderful way to explore their own lives and ideas and get to know others in a safe and comfortable environment. Groups run from October to January and from February through May. Watch for sign-up announcements in September and January, or check at the Hospitality Table on Sunday.

Soul Matters Circles
Unitarian Universalism is about connection. We are a religion that sees people struggling, not against our own sinful souls, but against a shallow, frantic and materialistic world that all-too-often leaves us disconnected from our deepest selves, life’s gifts and needs greater than one’s own. And so our congregations work to heal that divide by helping each other listen to our deepest selves, open to life’s gifts and serve needs greater than our own. Soul Matters supports this mission of helping people listen, open, and serve by offering its participants:

  • Formative space & circles of learning, support, and challenge
  • Opportunities for spiritual deepening and practice
  • An intimate home within a larger church community

…so they become the people they want to be.

In other words, Soul Matters is about becoming.

In our Soul Matters Circle, we live more deeply into our monthly theme. Each month, participants engage in a spiritual exercise related to the theme and then ponder a question for deeper reflection. In our covenant-based circle, we share with one another where we are on our journey of living more deeply into the theme of the month. Contact Rev. Joan for more information.

Seasoned Souls

Reflect on the joys, challenges, questions, and meaning-making that comes with aging. Grounded in deep listening. Often much laughter and yes, sometimes tears. A great opportunity for both longtime and newer members of our congregation.

Caregivers

As life unfolds, many of us are called on to be the main caregiver for partners, parents, and children with medical or mental disabilities. While the focus is commonly on the many needs of the “patient,” the needs of the caregiver are often overlooked or dismissed, sometimes by the caregivers themselves. This small group is specifically for those people in that challenging role, with the intention of creating a safe space to share and listen and learn how to take care of ourselves, while taking care of another. On Zoom and facilitated by UCM members Gale Pekar and Hugo Liepmann.

Queerality 

UCM is a “Welcoming Congregation,” which indicates that our church community aims to be fully inclusive of individuals who are LGBTQ+.  This group not only continues the tradition of welcoming queer congregants but also provides an opportunity to explore both queer, spiritual identities in a safe and affirming space. If you identify as LGBTQ+ we hope you will join for sharing, exploration, and great conversations. Please contact Elaine Ball, if you are interested in learning more.