Tapestry of Faith: The New UU: A Program for Welcoming Newcomers to Unitarian Universalist Congregations

Activity 2: A New Small Group

Part of The New UU

Activity time: 20 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Make copies of the story "A New Small Group" for all participants.

Description of Activity

Introduce the activity with these or similar words:

We are changed by the community we join. Membership is about shaping the community, but also about shaping ourselves in the context of community. We'll explore that idea by sharing a story.

Introduce the story by explaining:

Many Unitarian Universalist congregations have small group ministries-groups that gather, often in members' homes, to deepen their spiritual connections and form community among the members. Usually, they begin with a check-in, that is, a time when participants share what is going on in their lives.

If your congregation has such groups, variously called covenant groups, chalice circles, or simply small groups, describe the model used in your congregation. Continue the introduction to the story:

This story is a fictional account, drawing on the stories heard by one minister from various people in different congregations about what their congregations mean to them.

Distribute the story and invite volunteers to read aloud a paragraph or two at a time, until the story is completed.

Lead a discussion, using these questions to guide you:

  • Which of the group members do you identify with the most? Why?
  • How would you imagine yourself fitting into a group like this?
  • What are you seeking from the congregation? Is there a particular aspect of your life that is bringing you here?