Small Group Ministry
Small Group Ministry
“People come to church longing for, yearning for, hoping for … a sense of roots, place, belonging, sharing and caring. People come to a church with a search for community, not committee.” — Glenn Turner
A different way of doing church
The Small Group Ministry program deepens and broadens personal spiritual growth. A group usually consists of 8-10 members who meet at each other’s homes, usually once every two weeks. Each meeting is focused on a spiritual topic. The goals are to:
- Listen and be listened to in a safe place
- Learn about the mysteries of our world and our spiritual paths
- Build new and deeper personal connections
- Serve our community and the needs of one another
- Maintain personal connections and a caring community
Each group has a facilitator who links the group to the SGM committee and the minister. The committee and minister provide overall guidance, while the lead facilitator and minister recruit new members and establish new groups. The minister develops session plans. The Committee meets the fourth Sunday of the month after services.
How can you join a group?
Contact the church office for more information
Goals of Small Group Ministry
The Small Group Ministry program deepens and broadens personal spiritual growth. This is done through five components:
- Listening: Deep listening is gift for both the speaker and the listener. A connection forms when we share and give this gift to each other.
- Worship: Worship is central to the life of our congregation. Small Group Ministry augments and strengthens our shared experience.
- Community: Small groups meet the need for connection and intimacy that is both a hunger in our society and essential to the ongoing life of a religious community.
- Learning: People come to the church seeking spiritual growth, seeking to know themselves better, to grow into their understanding of the world and to ponder the age old questions of faith: how to live, what to believe, how to act, what meanings we can decipher from the mystery of life.
- Service: A life of faith is a life of service. As human beings, we seek to be of use, and a healthy congregation needs to provide avenues through which we may serve.
How does Small Group Ministry work?
Ministry happens in the meetings, which focus on spiritual topics through a process of deep listening. Topics for 2018 include Welcome, Courage, Abundance, Hope, Intention, Perseverance, Balance, Emergence, Creativity, and Blessing. Groups follow the same monthly topic that is chosen for Sunday services and religious education classes.
What is expected of members?
Group members are expected to commit to regular meeting times and to practice deep listening. Deep listening is 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.
What are Small Group sessions like?
- 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 two lays out a topic and presents questions that will elicit thoughtful discussion and significant reflection.
- Check-Out :Having explored the topic, members have the option to share where they are at the moment.
- Closing Words: This brings the formal session to an end. Groups are encouraged to start and end on time.