Small Group Ministries

Small Group MinistryWant to join a Small Group Ministry?

Contact our office at (860) 646-5151.

What is Small Group Ministry? A network of small groups (maximum size 8-10) whose main objective is to create an open and safe environment for mutual ministry and spiritual growth. Groups meet monthly, have a regular format, develop a covenant, and explore mutually agreed to topics that promote UU principles and spiritual development. This is not just small talk but an opportunity to explore meaningful topics such as trust, compassion, good and evil, or mindful living. Each group has a facilitator but group members share responsibility by participating fully to deepen their connections to one another, to Unitarian Universalist Society: East, and to the denomination as a whole.

Unitarian Universalist Society: East has participated in small group ministry for about fifteen years. A group of current facilitators, who feel strongly in the value of small group ministry, would like to know if there is interest in expanding the number of groups. We would be willing to train new facilitators, establish new groups, and have a sign up process if there is interest.

IMG_0623[1]

Most of our small group ministries meet monthly — some in member’s homes, some here at UUS:E.  There are daytime and evening groups, weekday and weekend groups.  Groups follow an agenda that allows time for sharing, reflection, and discussion of a topic or question chosen beforehand by the group.  A topic might be suggested by one of Rev. Josh’s sermons, by a book a member has read, by an item in the news, and often by someone’s need to explore one of life’s mysteries.  Previous topics have included the role of the seven UU principles in our lives, compassionate living, our diverse religious upbringings, living well, facing death, planning one’s own memorial service, and confronting racism.

While Small Group Ministry is not a support group in the traditional sense, members do support each other.  Although they are not social groups, members do share good times and develop friendships.  And although they are not academic courses, members do learn much.  Small Group Ministry is a way for each of us to continue our spiritual journeys in the company of a few friends, new and old, from UUS:E.

Small Group Ministry is indeed one of the very important ways we at UUS:E live out that portion of our congregational mission which states, “Through shared ministry, we care for one another and nurture the search for truth and meaning as part of life-long spiritual growth.”

You are each invited to join one of the groups practicing Small Group Ministry. There are several groups with spaces available and we would love to create new groups. Groups are open but are capped at ten in order to preserve intimacy—one of the goals of small group ministry. Becoming a member of a group does mean a commitment to meeting at least once a month and actively participating in the group discussions. The meetings provide an opportunity to get to know a group of UUs more intimately and to discuss questions of ultimacy—what is important in our lives.

If you are interested in joining a new or existing group, please contact Rev. Josh Pawelek at revpawelek@sbcglobal.net or at 860-646-5151.