Small Group Ministry at UUCE

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Small Group Ministry

Deep listening is the foundation of small group ministry. It is is both a spiritual practice that we do for ourselves and a gift that we give to others. It can feel countercultural and uncomfortable at times. But it is deeply powerful.

“SGM offers a way to explore life’s ultimate questions, deepen your spiritual growth, and develop a richer sense of connectedness and community. SGM creates a sacred time where the stories of our lives are heard.”   ~Thandeka (UU Minister)

Participation in Small Group Ministry is open to members and friends of UUCE – whether you are new or a long time member.  Look for the annual SGM registration in September of each year or complete the form below to be in contact with the SGM coordinator.

What is Small Group Ministry?

SGM is a spiritual practice that creates a sacred space where we can tell the stories of our lives, share ideas about the monthly church themes, be heard and listen deeply to others. These are intentional groups that help to deepen and expand the ministry of the church. SGM helps to build community and provides opportunities for deeper relationships – intimacy – and opportunity for deeper spiritual exploration and meaning – ultimacy. SGM is not a discussion group; it I more like a spiritual practice where we take time out of our lives to think deeply about a topic, share our thoughts and listen deeply as others share.

Who, where and when?

Groups generally have 8-12 people and meet once a month for 2 hours. The current groups meet at a variety of times and places – homes, church, and via Zoom.

The 2022-23 themes are:

September: Welcome
October:  Heritage
November:  Generosity
December:  Mystery
January:  Liberating Love
February: Justice & Equity
March:  Transformation
April: Interdependence
May:  Pluralism
June:  Renewal 

Is there a commitment?

Membership with a small group ministry requires a deep commitment to attend all meetings and to not schedule other casual activities during our scheduled meeting time. Of course, there will be, at times, a commitment that cannot be changed or that will take precedence over anything else. But, for the most part, the time to meet should be a firm commitment on the part of each member of a small group ministry. That expectation is at the core of Small Group Ministries as it helps to establish an environment of trust among the group members.

Also, because group size is limited, if you are unable to attend regularly, it may be best to wait, so that another may attend.

What is the format?

Opening Words/ Chalice Lighting
Check -in
Covenant Reading
Quotes & Readings on the Topic
Questions for Reflection
Sharing – in response to quotes/readings/questions
Open Sharing – if time allows and after each person has shared
Closing Words

How is group placement made?

When you contact the coordinator, Mary Murray, she will listen to your preferences for meeting times and modes and match you with the group that works best for your schedule. Availability within each group is based on the number of current members.

This year’s enrollment period will begin in September and will be through email and telephone. (Watch the newsletter for more information.) Although most SGM members prefer to stay within their current groups, some choose to have the opportunity to get to know other people by joining a different group. The choice is up to you!

Note: We are also looking for additional coordinators and/or facilitators. Support and training is provided through the SGM committee. The sessions are created by the SGM committee.

If you have questions or would like to join a Small Group Ministry,
please contact Mary Murray at marydmurray@comcast net or (239) 699-0150.