“There is a quality of listening that is possible among a circle of human beings, who by their attentiveness to one another create a space in which each person is able to give voice to the truth of his or her life.”
– Rebecca Parker, Unitarian Theologian
A Chalice Circle is a small group of 8 members whose purpose is to facilitate spiritual deepening and connections among its members through reflection, personal sharing, and deep listening. Each Circle follows a consistent format to help people move into a place of connecting with their truest self, with the greater source of which we are a part, and with one another.
With eleven Chalice Circles currently running and more forming, these small groups are a core component of our Faith Engagement ministry.
Whether you are a newcomer or a long-time member, Chalice Circles offers an enriching experience for everyone.
What happens in a Chalice Circle gathering?
- Centering: A brief quiet time which allows people to transition from the busyness of their lives and find a calm center from which to begin
- Chalice lighting and reading
- Check-in: Participants briefly share what is in their hearts and minds.
- Topic/Sharing: Topics are theme-based and connect to the content you hear in worship throughout the month. Monthly spiritual exercises and readings on the theme help participants reconnect with themselves, members of the circle, and the gifts and needs of the world.
- Closing Words
How long and how often are the sessions? Sessions are two hours long. Each group meets once or twice a month (depending on the group). Chalice Circles are ongoing. People enter and leave the group based on their availability and interest. Participants commit to a Chalice Circle for four months and give one month’s notice to leave. Part of the group covenant is to make time to say goodbye.
What is expected of participants? Participants are asked to bring a willingness to share, a desire to learn, and make a priority of attending every meeting (knowing that sometimes life gets in the way).
Can newcomers enter a group after it has started?
YES. Each group symbolizes its willingness to welcome newcomers with an empty chair at each meeting.
Do I have to be a member of the church?
No. In keeping with Unitarian Universalism’s inclusive philosophy, anyone who is in sympathy with UU principles is welcome.
What do the facilitators do?
There are two trained volunteer facilitators for each Chalice Circle. They are responsible for the life of the group. They make sure meetings begin and end on time, and during the meeting, they use the session plans to guide the discussion. In addition, facilitators meet monthly with the Director of Lifespan Faith Engagement to help maintain the connection between individual Chalice Circles and the larger community.
How can I get involved in a Chalice Circle?
You can register for a Chalice Circle through the Adult Faith Engagement program or you may notify Rev. Kim (email@example.com) or Robin Pugh, Director of Congregational Life (firstname.lastname@example.org) of your interest. There is always a space available for a new Circle participant.