Small Group Ministry

Small Group Ministry

By , Published on December 29, 2017
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Is Small Group Ministry for you? 

  • Do you yearn to have a deep, meaningful, conversation about religion, life issues, any other subjects?
  • Do you find that you’d like to know people better?
  • Would you like to feel more a part of First Parish?

This you can find in small group ministry

What is Small Group Ministry?

The Small Group Ministry (SGM) Program is a network of small groups that draw us into mutual ministry, strengthen our congregation, build relationships, deepen our understanding of Unitarian Universalist principles and values, and challenge us to action and spiritual growth.
SGM is one of the largest ministries within the Parish.  SGM groups have 6-10 members and are led by trained lay people.  Groups meet twice a month for 1.5 – 2 hours and abide by a covenant or set of mutually agreed upon ground rules.

Each meeting includes a time for check-in, an opening reading, a discussion of a topic selected in advance, check- out, and a closing reading. Each group develops a way to welcome new members, stays connected with the larger congregation, and participates in projects to benefit the congregation and/or the larger community.
The kinds of topics that groups explore are wide-ranging and are usually tailored to the interests of the participants. Currently some of the SGMs are using the Parish’s selection of topics outlined in the monthly Theme-Based Ministry to focus their discussions.

What Are the Benefits?

Small Group Ministry is a unique experience that differs from Adult Religious Education, study groups, social networks, support groups, or anything else you do at church or in the community. Members identify a series of benefits from participating:
❖ Get to know other members of the Parish on a deeper level.
❖ Have the opportunity to reflect on and discuss topics that offer guidance and enrichment in our daily lives.
❖ Participate in an open, supportive, nurturing environment that promotes and facilitates spiritual growth.
❖ Practice respectful listening, reflection, and thoughtful engagement with other members of the group.
❖ Join other members of the Parish in undertaking a Service Project in support of the Parish’s Mission.

How Do I Participate?

If you are interested in learning more, please stop by the SGM table during Social Hour in Parish Hall throughout the month of January.  Check the Bell Notes for contact information for the SGM leaders.  Members are asked to commit to attending regularly and have the option to continue in the same group or join a new group each year.

Small Group Ministry Reflections: Phil Murray

By , Published on September 23, 2013
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Seven years ago I was asked to facilitate a new Small Group Ministry mid-way through the Church service year.   I opened that initial meeting with a reading from Henry David Thoreau’s essay entitled, Life Without Principle.

Let us consider the way we spend our lives…We select granite for the underpinning of our houses and barns; we build fences of stone; but we do not ourselves rest on an underpinning of granitic truth, the lowest primitive rock.  … I often accuse my finest acquaintances of an immense frivolity; for, while there are manners and compliments we do not meet, we do not teach one another the lessons of honesty and sincerity that the brutes do, or of steadiness and solidity that the rocks do.  The fault is commonly mutual, however; for we do not habitually demand any more of each other.

Looking over my notes from that shortened year it now seems the topics covered it all – worship, God, Being Human, Mothers, Fathers.  You might well ask why I could still be involved in Small Group Ministry.  Weren’t all the big issues of life covered in those five short months? Continue reading…