Small Group Ministry
Also known as "covenant groups” and “chalice circles,” Small Group Ministry is a vital part of many Unitarian Universalist(UU) congregations. Groups of 10-12 people meet regularly, usually monthly, to reflect on and discuss significant life topics.
Small groups are great places to get to know other people and to get to know yourself. Over time, participants build deep connections with one another, with the congregation, and with the sacred.
Whether the topic is “good and evil,” “mindful living,” "parenting," or “letting go,” the conversation is respectful and caring and leads to greater understanding. In each session, facilitated by a member of the congregation, all participants have opportunity to share their perspectives, tell their stories, and listen deeply. The time together is structured: Groups begin and end with centering readings and often include times for quiet reflection as well as sharing. Many small groups also put their faith into action through service projects.
Many Small Group Ministries have “open enrollment” once or twice a year. Groups may request a commitment of one year or more. Contact a congregation near you to find out about their Small Group Ministries.
- Unitarian Universalist (UU) Small Group Ministry Network: an Independent Affiliate of the UUA
- Sharing the Journey: Small Group Ministry with Youth
- Adapting Small Group Ministry for Children (PDF, 63 pages)
- Theme-based Ministry
More resources are available from inSpirit: UU Book and Gift Shop:
- Gatherings—Small Group Ministry for Men
- Evensong, Vol. 1
- Evensong for Families
- Soul to Soul
- Heart to Heart
- Listening Hearts
- Not For Ourselves Alone
- Articles from the UU World magazine:
Gatherings Small Group Ministry for Men
Bill Hamilton-Holway, Tony Bushman
From Skinner House Books
Covenant group ministry session plans, with hands-on activities for participants.