What is Small Group Ministry?

It’s a way to:

  • form closer connections with one another and make new friends
  • listen deeply and know you will be heard as well
  • explore life’s bigger questions with people who share your religious values
  • experience spirituality through discussing ideas of universal human significance
  • connect across our differences and come to know parishioners we might not have otherwise sought out
  • bring together parish newcomers and long-timers
  • explore and deepen our practice of our shared UU principles
  • be engaged, included, and heard in a safe, nurturing environment
  • build the spirit of community in our congregation

How Do the Groups Work?

Each Small Group is comprised on 5 to 8 parishioners who meet regularly (usually for 2 hours, twice/month) at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Rockport or in homes. Participants agree to come to at least the first four meetings. After that, the commitment is through June, with the possibility of continuing.

People are assigned to a group based on day/time availability and to assure a good mix of people. It is possible to be in a group with childcare or that meets in an accessible location.

The meetings follow a format which begins with lighting a chalice and opening words from a Unitarian Universalist source, includes time for personal “checking’in,” and centers for a full hour around a reflective conversation on a topic of meaning and interest. The meeting ends with a brief “check-out” and closing reading.

Each group makes its own covenant regarding confidentiality, attendance, sharing the time, etc.

You do not have to be able to host a meeting in your home to participate. No preparation is required.

Each group has a facilitator who opens and closes the meetings and helps the group honor its covenant, assuring that all get a chance to participate with tact, openness, and respect. The facilitators are chosen by the Minister, with whom they meet regularly as a Small Group.

What Might We Discuss?

  • Our Spiritual/Religious Journeys
  • Forgiveness
  • What We Love
  • Learning From Failure
  • My Growing Up Years
  • A Sacred Place
  • Living Simply
  • Trust in Relationships
  • Fear of Dying
  • Loss
  • Gratitude
  • And MUCH MORE!

How to Join the Small Group Ministry Program:

It is possible to join a Small Group any time of year, space permitting, in a group that fits your schedule.

However, each fall new groups form, and new facilitators are trained. Members of last year’s groups may choose to change groups, and new members can join existing groups. The time to find your group is now!

Be prepared to name the possible days of the week and times (morning, afternoon or evening) when you could participate, if you have accessibility needs, or would like to share the cost of hiring a childcare provider with other parents in your group, or if you have other needs.