Monday, December 20, 2010

Small Group Ministry: the colors of community (January 2011 Newsletter article)

By: Kati Trice

I pull up to a familiar house in my neighborhood. The front door is open and there is soft yellow light shining through the windows. Inside I can see people are beginning to gather. Some faces I know, others I do not, but I feel very welcome and comfortable as I’m handed a warm cup of hot blackberry sage tea and I make my way to the circle. The opening words are read and our group facilitator introduces a question to the group, “What is something you put aside in order to be fully present here tonight?

If nature always wears the colors of the spirit, small group ministry always wears the colors of community. We’re sharing our lives together, the joys, the sorrows, the concerns. We’re exploring who we are and what our purpose is in this ever-expanding universe. Small group ministry provides an opportunity to deepen and expand the ministry of a congregation through both intimacy - building community through deeper relationships and ultimacy - exploring spirituality and a search for meaning. Everyone has the opportunity to participate and the groups belong to everyone. The experience of a small group can even change how people relate, listen, and communicate with each other by creating shared agreements that ensure that each person is heard in the group.

Small group ministry also provides a platform for congregational growth, a diversity of service projects, and leadership training. As we explore the many benefits of small group ministry for our fellowship in anticipation of groups starting next year, I hope you’ll join me, our minister and many of our church leaders as we open our hearts and our minds to the possibilities of this new way of being together in loving spiritual community.

Small Group Ministry is a group of six to ten people who commit to meet together once or twice a month to deepen their relationships and grow in their spiritual journey.

A Small Group Meeting will begin with an opening such as a reading, song, or meditation and a chalice lighting. Group members each have an opportunity to speak during the check-in which allows people to say briefly what is going on in their lives. A topic is introduced and it provides the context for participants to share their own stories and reflections from their own experience. At the meeting’s conclusion, there is a closing and the group extinguishes the chalice.

Small Group Ministry @ Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Begins February 2011

Available Group Times:

• Every First and Third Sunday Night, twice a month
• Every Fourth Wednesday Night, once a month
• Weekday Morning / Afternoon, day and frequency to be determined

For more information about Small Group Ministry or to sign up for a group contact smallgroups@dentonuuf.org