We launched Chalice Circles, our small group ministry program, in 2004 and have been going strong ever since! Chalice Circles provide opportunities for people to learn and grow through honest personal reflection and open-hearted listening in small groups that come together to explore varied topics. A trained facilitator upholds the Chalice Circle Covenant, assures safe space for conversation and exploration, and keeps the discussion of the session topic on track. Related support teams are:
Session-Building Team: vets session topic and develops the readings and questions for each session
Planning Team: implements strategies to help the program be accessible to the widest possible audience and to promote equity in our methods of signing up for Circles
Circle Facilitators: participate in training and meet as a group throughout the year for support and guidance
FormatOur Chalice Circle program typically runs October through May of each year with groups of 6 to 10 people meeting once a month at the church or in members' homes. Each session lasts two hours and begins with a chalice lighting and opening words, followed by a time for personal check-in. There is a shared reflection on the topic for that session, and then the facilitator introduces a variety of questions to spark discussion.
Signing-UpOur Chalice Circle program is designed for Members, Friends, and newcomers to UUCV. That means participants must be affiliated with the church before signing up. In September we have an open sign-up period in order to give everyone a fair and equitable chance to join a Chalice Circle. Participants for each Circle are selected at random from those whose sign-up forms are received by the deadline. If a group has substantially more requests than spaces available, we may try to create a second group at that time if we can arrange for a Facilitator.