Small Group Ministry
The Small Group Ministry (SGM) program is an active part of the ministry of First Parish—it provides a structure within which members minister to each other. SGM encourages people in their spiritual growth and helps them develop relationships of substance and depth. The subject matter of SGM is the members’ lives. SGM is a sacrament of right relationship among the members and between the group and our Congregation.
SGM groups have 6 – 10 members and are led by trained lay people. Groups meet twice a month, such as the first and third Tuesday, either at the Church or in group members’ homes. Meetings last one and a half to two hours, including a refreshment period. SGM groups serve to enrich our community with the sort of conversation and attentiveness that can be difficult in the busy life of a congregation. Group members listen to each other, but don’t attempt to solve each other’s problems. They are not therapy or encounter groups.
Each group makes and abides by a covenant that defines the group’s relationship to the church and to each other. The covenant includes listening without interrupting, starting and ending on time, regular attendance, and confidentiality. SGM members are supportive of each other, but SGM groups are not support groups. When a member is in need, the other group members may provide assistance as a way of connecting with each other. The Caring Committee or minister can fill in as needed.
SGM Groups are part of a religious community–the Church. Groups may choose to usher or set up and serve at coffee hour as a service to the congregation. Groups are encouraged to take on other service projects for the church and/or the larger community. Session plans are provided for each meeting. Some topics are spiritual in nature (joy, trust, faith, prayer); others reflect universally human themes (mentors, loss, forgiveness, humor). Members respond to the topic questions by sharing personal experiences. SGM groups are not study groups or debate teams. The focus is on respectful listening, reflection, and creative interchange among group members.
Are you interested in joining a Small Group? Please fill our the form below or email the Small Group Facilitators with questions.