Small Group Conversations involve participants meeting regularly for conversation in defined small groups. It provides a way for individuals to get to know each other, explore important questions and ideas, and deepen their connections to the church.
Why do churches offer Small Group Conversation programs?
People most often say they attend a church because they want to explore spiritual questions and/or they would like to connect with a community of like-minded souls. While Sunday morning services can promote spiritual growth and work on church committees provides some opportunities to meet others, neither is an ideal setting for having deep conversation about spiritual matters or developing close ties with others. These are the twin goals of Small Group Conversation programs.
How do Small Group Conversation programs work?
Participants meet in small groups for conversation on set topics.
- Each small group has 8 to 12 members, including a facilitator, who guides the sessions and assures that everyone has a chance to participate in conversation.
- Participation in each group will be predetermined and will remain consistent throughout the program year. This allows participants to create new connections and deepen existing ones.
- Assignment to groups is based on availability of participants.
- This year we will be using Soul Matters packets for our groups which introduces spiritual practice to the preparation and discussion. The packet will be posted on our website each month at: http://www.kentuu.org/soul-matters-packet/
What happens at a session?
Each participant of the group will have an opportunity to check in. Then, the facilitator will share readings from the Soul Matters packet, invite participants to share their experience with the suggested spiritual practice and then open conversation on the questions for reflection.
To enable all group participants to have a chance to share, the facilitator will ensure that each person has an opportunity to speak once before anyone speaks twice. There are also opportunities for dialogue.
At the first session, the group will discuss any “ground rules” they wish to set for their group.
Here at the UU Church of Kent, two types of groups are offered: Chalice Groups and Living by Heart.
Both groups offer opportunities to share our stories, ideas, and feelings, while building relationships.
Chalice Groups meet once a month. Participants come for intimate conversation, following a structured format.
Living by Heart is a devotional practice to create “intention about the words, rhymes and rhythms we take into our lives. Attentiveness sitting and learning of wisdom words, poetry and scripture are the fundamental elements. Living by Heart is not a meditation in the usual sense. It does not focus on having an ’empty mind,’ as do many traditional forms of meditation, but rather on images that rise up in the mind from poetry and wisdom literature, as well as from a heightened appreciation of the world around us. At each gathering there is an opportunity for those who have memorized a poem or found a poem of interest to speak it out loud. You are encouraged to collect poems that speak to your heart. Over time, as you develop your practice, the words of the poems will begin to form a dialogue with your life.”
Download the Small Group Conversation Brochure (Right-click the link and choose “Save Link As…” to save the document to your computer)
Download the Sign-up Sheet for Small Group Conversations (Right-click the link and choose “Save Link As…” to save the document to your computer