Small Group Ministry
A Different Way
Do you ever wish:
- you had a time and place to discuss spiritual and philosophical topics?
- you could make connections with church members that lasted more than a few minutes over coffee?
- you were able to share something that doesn’t quite fit in the category of the joys and sorrows we share on Sunday?
Small Group Ministry meets these wishes by providing a safe way for small groups of people to discuss spiritual topics, build deep and lasting connections, learn to really listen to others, and share their own stories. It’s a profound way of “doing church” that nurtures spiritual growth and a different way of being together.
Groups generally consist of 6-10 members and a facilitator. Group members commit to attend the first 4 introductory sessions and then decide whether to commit to regular attendance. We commit to practice deep listening, a way of focusing intently on what another person is saying without interruption or simultaneously formulating a response. Deep listening also gives an individual an opportunity to speak without interruption or comment. Each group also agrees to participate together in one service project.
Groups and facilitator trainings occur periodically. If you are interested in joining a group or in attending facilitator training, please contact Reverend María Cristina, Bob Britton, Kathryn LaMar, or Rene Castle.
Meetings are twice a month. Each meeting is focused on a particular topic.
The meetings generally follow this structure:
- Opening Words: gathering in, settling down, reminding participants of the special opportunity of the gathering, possibly reflecting the topic of the session. The meeting may begin with the lighting of a candle or a chalice.
- Check-In: Participants share news of what has been happening in their lives. Each group develops its own customs as to the length of sharing. This portion of the meeting may expand from time to time when circumstances call for it.
- Topic/Discussion: A paragraph or list of thoughts or questions lays out a topic to elicit thoughtful discussion and significant reflection. A group may stay with a topic several weeks or be done in one evening.
- Check-Out: Likes and Wishes. This is an opportunity for feedback.
- Closing Words: This brings the formal session to and end. Groups are encouraged to start and end on time.