Connections, Small Group Ministry
"What do people need most from their churches? They need community, durable human relationships that are grounded in a common vision, compassion, commitment and celebration. (Small Group Ministry is) how we can create churches that minister to the deepest longings of the human spirit." —Peter Morales, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association
A lay ministry, Connections allows members and friends to gather in small groups to share their thoughts, feelings and needs. Participants establish new and deeper connections with one another in a safe setting for religious exploration and spiritual growth.
Frequently Asked Questions About Connections
What is Connections?
Connections is a network of small groups, open to all adult members and friends of our fellowship. The mission of these groups is to provide pathways for ministering to one another and to the community beyond. These groups are not classes, committees, study groups, therapy groups, nor affinity groups based on a specific area of interest. They provide intentional ways for both social and spiritual connection. As each person speaks their own truth, and each person listens to another’s truth, their connections deepen.
How are Connections groups different from other groups?
- A Connections group is bound by an agreement regarding what is expected of its members. Each member is asked to agree to this covenant.
- Each group is limited to no more than eight members plus a facilitator.
- A trained facilitator from our congregation leads each group and follows a specific topic-based structure. Topics are selected by the Connections Steering Committee with guidance from Rev. Lisa Schwartz.
- Emphasis is placed on careful listening, as well as on focused, topic-related sharing.
What is the purpose of Connections groups?
- To create a sacred time, amidst the rush of life, when spiritual, religious or value-related practices or experiences can be articulated and appreciated within a small group whose members seek fuller understanding of themselves and of each other as spiritual beings.
- To develop deeper, more meaningful interpersonal connections and to minister to one another by maintaining a caring connection during life’s changes. If needed, our Care Committee or Rev. Schwartz may be able to extend what a Connections group can provide.
- To give meaning to our beliefs through volunteering as a group for service to our fellowship or to the wider community. The group selects its service according to its members’ schedules, areas of interest, and time availability.
What else do I need to know?
- Connections groups are excellent ways for newcomers to become involved in UUFWS. Longer term members or friends of our fellowship are enabled to further develop their own beliefs in light of transitions they may have experienced in recent years, to connect with some new acquaintances, and to know present friends in new ways.
- To allow Rev. Schwartz a few months to equilibrate as our settled minister, the next series of groups will begin in January 2013.
- Groups will meet during alternating weeks through late May/early June (10-12 sessions).
- A brochure with more information, including details about registration, will be published by November 2012 and an orientation session will be scheduled soon thereafter. Be sure to watch for these!
- If you have questions or concerns, please contact one of these members of the Connections Steering Committee:
Cinda Meyer: firstname.lastname@example.org or 336-917-5945
Roxanne McKenzie: email@example.com or 336-345-7250