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Chalice Circles are a small group ministry at CCUU.

For 2016-17, our new chalice circles will be called Soul Intentions Covenant Groups and will follow the monthly ministry themes, using materials from Soul Matters, a collaborative of UU churches sharing themed ministry materials. There will be readings and a variety of optional spiritual exercises to help you delve into the monthly topics. We will also weave in the concept of mindfulness by setting a personal intention for the month that will help each of us keep the topic in mind and in practice; in this way, we can develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of the concept and the part it plays in our spiritual lives. Our hope is that this approach will strengthen each of us on a personal level, enrich our discussions as a group, and bring more focused spiritual development to the group experience.

If you are interested in participating in this year’s covenant groups, sign up in Atherton Hall at the Kinship Ministry table or email ChaliceCircles@ccuu.org.

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Who

Facilitated small groups (circles) made up of adult newcomers, friends, & members of the church
Men and women – adults of all ages – are encouraged to join.
8-10 people per Circle
Each circle’s membership remains constant throughout the church year.
Typically there are 5-6 individual circles meeting on a monthly basis.

What

Circle members gather monthly to share their stories, thoughts, feelings, and perspectives on a given topic. This year, we explore the Themed Ministry topics: Sept-Covenant, Oct-Healing, Nov-Story, Dec-Presence, Jan-Prophecy, Feb-Identity, March-Risk, April-Transformation, May-Embodiment, June-Zest.
All Chalice Circles in the church explore the same topic during a given month.  This allows for continuity of experience across our congregation.

When

Each Circle meets once a month for approximately 2 hours at a regular day and time. For example, one group might meet from 7-9 pm on the 1st Friday of each month, another from 10 am-noon on the 3rd Tuesday.

Where

Meeting rooms at Countryside Church UU

How

There will be readings and a variety of optional spiritual exercises to help you delve into the monthly topics. We will also weave in the concept of mindfulness by setting a personal intention for the month that will help each of us keep the topic in mind and in practice.

Why

To strengthen each of us on a personal level, enrich our discussions as a group, and bring more focused spiritual development to the group experience, as well as to nurture the building of relationships and community.

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Chalice Circles are:

* Sacred time and space for relationship-building
* A commitment to the group through consistent attendance
* A commitment to the process through sharing and listening
* Participatory and encouraging
* Compassionate
* Accepting
* Non-judgmental
* Safe – members share at a level and pace with which they are comfortable
* Confidential

Chalice Circles are not:

* “Drop-in” groups
* Therapy, support, or problem-solving groups
* A place to give or get advice
* A venue for debate or controversial discussion

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Chalice Circle Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

Do I need to be a church member to participate in Chalice Circles?

No. All adults are welcome to participate in the Chalice Circle program.  It is a wonderful way to get to know people in the congregation and to deepen existing connections within the church community.

What are the attendance expectations for Chalice Circles?

It’s very important to make a serious commitment and attend your Circle on a consistent, monthly basis. In this way, you and all members of your Circle receive greatest continuity and benefit from participating. When you miss a meeting, everyone misses out! (If you absolutely must be absent from a meeting, be sure to contact your facilitator in advance.)

May I “drop in” to any group or move between groups?

Once each Circle’s membership is determined, it remains set through the church year. This is a critical element in the building of relationships and the development of trust within the group.

Is there a cost to participate in Chalice Circles?

There is no cost to participate in the Chalice Circle program.

May I be in the same Circle with my partner or other family member?

In the past, we have had Circles with multiple family members, as well as family members who intentionally chose separate Circles.  It is primarily a matter of personal preference.

What if I don’t get along with one of my facilitators or group members?

Chalice Circles represent a learning process and an opportunity to “stretch” for everyone involved. We are all at different “places” as we come to the program, and the Chalice Circle is a chance to practice openness and understanding, growing and “muddling through” with each other’s help.

Tell me more about the service component of Chalice Circles.

Each Circle is encouraged to choose and perform one service project per year, within the church or broader community (e.g. help out with CROP Hunger Walk; hand-pack meals for malnourished children).  It’s an opportunity to make a contribution together and balance the inward focus of the Circle with outward connections.  It’s also a way to strengthen bonds among group members, get to know each other in a different way, and have fun!

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