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Transforming Our Churches with Small Group Ministry
[Excerpts from booklet by the Rev. Glenn H. Turner, Former District Minister, NED-UUA]
"I believe that the mission of the Unitarian Universalist Church is to address the social isolation and rootlessness that is characteristic in modern life, to minister to the hurts and hopes of those in our community, and to radically define our community beyond our membership borders, seeking to bring other people who need our support into our churches and into our lives. Two things the small-group ministry addresses. First, it structures and nurtures caring relationships in a group of manageable size. Second, it provides an ongoing opportu-nity for us to explore life issues in a religious context. It's not a class. It's not a systematic learning. But, a small group can circle the religious territory again and again, gravitating toward its own needs and concerns, using the material to evoke what's in them. Groups of seven to ten people meet regularly (one to four times per month) to deepen their relationships with each other and to grow spiritually. The more you can meet the better; however, we recognize that people have other commitments. These group meetings do not replace Sunday morning worship services. The two are intended to complement one another…. While it is hoped that group members will be "on the front lines" of providing support to each other in times of need, the groups are not organized as therapy groups. You do not have to be a church member or attendee to be a member of one of these small groups. In fact, inviting non-members to these groups is encouraged."

Small Group Ministry Goals

  • To love ourselves and one another.
  • To learn about the mysteries of our world and deepen our spiritual awareness.
  • To serve our community and the needs of one another.
  • To deepen personal connections within our congregation.

Fundamental Tenets of Small Group Ministry

  • Groups will include six to ten members.
  • Groups will provide support, but not therapy, to participants. Facilitators are trained and supervised by the minister.
  • Groups may be developed around a common characteristic (Christian, Buddhist, Humanist or Mothers group), or as a mixed group with no stated commonality.
  • New groups will be formed when the need is expressed and facilitators are available.
  • Groups will be open to all within the geographic reach of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Bangor.
  • Groups will determine their own meeting times, and frequency, and will adopt an agenda which meets their needs.

Meeting Structure

Small Group Ministry is a way of connecting members, friends, and newcomers in intimate circles for sharing, learning, serving, and spiritual growth.
Groups generally meet one or more times per month, in a member's home or at the church.
The group leader guides each meeting through:

  • Ingathering/chalice or candle lighting
  • Time for each person to share
  • Reflection, discussion and/or meditation time
  • Reviewing "likes and wishes"
  • Brief closing

Each meeting is intended to deepen our sense of community and to open us to the unfolding meaning of our lives. Groups covenant with one another regarding privacy, childcare, how often to meet and other considerations. Groups are open and welcoming as newcomers are invited or referred to the group. As they grow, groups will naturally "birth" new small groups. If you would like to post your small group ministry on the website, please contact the church office - uubangor@gmail.com

T

Transforming Our Churches with Small Group Ministry
[Excerpts from booklet by the Rev. Glenn H. Turner, Former District Minister, NED-UUA]
"I believe that the mission of the Unitarian Universalist Church is to address the social isolation and rootlessness that is characteristic in modern life, to minister to the hurts and hopes of those in our community, and to radically define our community beyond our membership borders, seeking to bring other people who need our support into our churches and into our lives. Two things the small-group ministry addresses. First, it structures and nurtures caring relationships in a group of manageable size. Second, it provides an ongoing opportu-nity for us to explore life issues in a religious context. It's not a class. It's not a systematic learning. But, a small group can circle the religious territory again and again, gravitating toward its own needs and concerns, using the material to evoke what's in them. Groups of seven to ten people meet regularly (one to four times per month) to deepen their relationships with each other and to grow spiritually. The more you can meet the better; however, we recognize that people have other commitments. These group meetings do not replace Sunday morning worship services. The two are intended to complement one another…. While it is hoped that group members will be "on the front lines" of providing support to each other in times of need, the groups are not organized as therapy groups. You do not have to be a church member or attendee to be a member of one of these small groups. In fact, inviting non-members to these groups is encouraged."

Small Group Ministry Goals

  • To love ourselves and one another.
  • To learn about the mysteries of our world and deepen our spiritual awareness.
  • To serve our community and the needs of one another.
  • To deepen personal connections within our congregation.

Fundamental Tenets of Small Group Ministry

  • Groups will include six to ten members.
  • Groups will provide support, but not therapy, to participants. Facilitators are trained and supervised by the minister.
  • Groups may be developed around a common characteristic (Christian, Buddhist, Humanist or Mothers group), or as a mixed group with no stated commonality.
  • New groups will be formed when the need is expressed and facilitators are available.
  • Groups will be open to all within the geographic reach of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Bangor.
  • Groups will determine their own meeting times, and frequency, and will adopt an agenda which meets their needs.

Meeting Structure

Small Group Ministry is a way of connecting members, friends, and newcomers in intimate circles for sharing, learning, serving, and spiritual growth.
Groups generally meet one or more times per month, in a member's home or at the church.
The group leader guides each meeting through:

  • Ingathering/chalice or candle lighting
  • Time for each person to share
  • Reflection, discussion and/or meditation time
  • Reviewing "likes and wishes"
  • Brief closing

Each meeting is intended to deepen our sense of community and to open us to the unfolding meaning of our lives. Groups covenant with one another regarding privacy, childcare, how often to meet and other considerations. Groups are open and welcoming as newcomers are invited or referred to the group. As they grow, groups will naturally "birth" new small groups. If you would like to post your small group ministry on the website, please contact the church office - uubangor@gmail.com

ransforming Our Churches with Small Group Ministry
[Excerpts from booklet by the Rev. Glenn H. Turner, Former District Minister, NED-UUA]
"I believe that the mission of the Unitarian Universalist Church is to address the social isolation and rootlessness that is characteristic in modern life, to minister to the hurts and hopes of those in our community, and to radically define our community beyond our membership borders, seeking to bring other people who need our support into our churches and into our lives. Two things the small-group ministry addresses. First, it structures and nurtures caring relationships in a group of manageable size. Second, it provides an ongoing opportu-nity for us to explore life issues in a religious context. It's not a class. It's not a systematic learning. But, a small group can circle the religious territory again and again, gravitating toward its own needs and concerns, using the material to evoke what's in them. Groups of seven to ten people meet regularly (one to four times per month) to deepen their relationships with each other and to grow spiritually. The more you can meet the better; however, we recognize that people have other commitments. These group meetings do not replace Sunday morning worship services. The two are intended to complement one another…. While it is hoped that group members will be "on the front lines" of providing support to each other in times of need, the groups are not organized as therapy groups. You do not have to be a church member or attendee to be a member of one of these small groups. In fact, inviting non-members to these groups is encouraged."

Small Group Ministry Goals

  • To love ourselves and one another.
  • To learn about the mysteries of our world and deepen our spiritual awareness.
  • To serve our community and the needs of one another.
  • To deepen personal connections within our congregation.

Fundamental Tenets of Small Group Ministry

  • Groups will include six to ten members.
  • Groups will provide support, but not therapy, to participants. Facilitators are trained and supervised by the minister.
  • Groups may be developed around a common characteristic (Christian, Buddhist, Humanist or Mothers group), or as a mixed group with no stated commonality.
  • New groups will be formed when the need is expressed and facilitators are available.
  • Groups will be open to all within the geographic reach of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Bangor.
  • Groups will determine their own meeting times, and frequency, and will adopt an agenda which meets their needs.

Meeting Structure

Small Group Ministry is a way of connecting members, friends, and newcomers in intimate circles for sharing, learning, serving, and spiritual growth.
Groups generally meet one or more times per month, in a member's home or at the church.
The group leader guides each meeting through:

  • Ingathering/chalice or candle lighting
  • Time for each person to share
  • Reflection, discussion and/or meditation time
  • Reviewing "likes and wishes"
  • Brief closing

Each meeting is intended to deepen our sense of community and to open us to the unfolding meaning of our lives. Groups covenant with one another regarding privacy, childcare, how often to meet and other considerations. Groups are open and welcoming as newcomers are invited or referred to the group. As they grow, groups will naturally "birth" new small groups. If you would like to post your small group ministry on the website, please contact the church office - uubangor@gmail.com