Chalice Circles—Our Small Group Ministry Program

Our Small Group Ministry program helps to deepen and broaden personal
spiritual growth as well as facilitate interpersonal connections. A Chalice
Circle group consists of six to ten members who meet on a regular basis.
Each meeting is focused on a spiritual, religious or social topic. The goals
are to:

  • Listen and be listened to in a safe place
  • Learn about and explore our ideas and spiritual paths
  • Build new and deeper personal connections
  • Serve our community and the needs of one another
  • Maintain personal connections and a caring community.

Chalice Circles start each year around January and end around
December. New Chalice Circles will be formed each year. Those
interested in participating will be asked to sign up to join a group for the
year. As space in the groups permits, new people may be added to
existing groups during the year. If enough people are interested and a new
facilitator can be trained, a new Chalice Circle may be formed after the
program begins for the year.

What is expected of members?

Chalice Circle members are expected to arrive on time, commit to regular
meetings, respect the leadership of the facilitator(s) and inform them if they
will miss a session. Each group creates its own “covenant”—a set of
agreements or ground rules for their meetings. Each group will decide on
and carry out a service project for the congregation or the community at
least once during the year. When there is space for new members of an
existing group, members of the group will welcome them into the group.

What are Chalice Circle sessions like?

Each group session follows a structured format, typically including the following elements:

  • Opening Words: Lighting of a candle or chalice and a brief reading on the topic of the meeting.This portion of the meeting may expand from time to time when circumstances call for it.
  • Topic/Discussion: A brief reading or quote lays out a topic, and questions may be posed to elicit thoughtful discussion and significant reflection. A group may stay with a topic for several
    sessions or complete discussion of a topic in one meeting.
  • Check Out: Participants briefly check out by sharing what they are feeling or what the group experience was like for them.
  • Closing Words: This brings the session to an end.

If you are interested in participating in a Chalice Circle, contact Rev. Marcus at minister@uucm.org.