Small Group Ministry
Connecting Circles is a place where each of us can explore the spiritual side of our lives. This is accomplished by gathering in small groups of 6 to 8 meeting in members’ homes. Each group meets once a month over the course of the UU year from September to June. The evening has a focus and a leader to create the program/setting for the evening. For example, a recent UUWorld article on Buddhism talks about gaining a deeper connection with one’s self. This could be a source of discussion for one evening. How often do we get to explore the fundamental issues of our lives with the support of other liberal religious seekers?
This is one of our church’s efforts to provide a place for friendship and spiritual growth. Sometimes this is called the pursuit of intimacy and ultimacy!
The vision is that folks would share their philosophy and spiritual journeys while getting to know each other better.
What makes Connecting Circles different is the sharing and attentive listening extended to each member of the group.
The intent is to grow and appreciate our spirituality. Our UU principles are a great asset to this process: the inherent worth and dignity of every person,the search for truth and meaning, the acceptance of one another and the encouragement of spiritual growth in our congregation and respect for the interconnectedness of all humanity.
Groups do form slowly sometimes. We have formed new groups based on locale, time of day, and day of the week that individuals can commit to for a year. In a larger church like ours we have attempted to make these groups by town or section of the city i.e. Mt Pleasant, West Ashley, James Island, Summerville. Since regular attendance is important to the group’s integrity we make every effort to place each person in the appropriate grouping.
Connecting Circles Guru Mary Ann Terry goes National!!!
Our Coordinator of Connecting Circles in our church, Mary Ann Terry, has been asked to a national member of the Small Group Ministry Network Board. She is excited to be part of this board of 10 who are involved in programs like our Connecting Circles throughout the country.Seven years ago, Mary Ann was part of the original team that started our highly successful Connecting Circles program. She feels that small groups are the key to an effective church membership dealing with intimacy and ultimacy. The national board is three years old and is concerned with helping churches start a program in their local church and ways to assist the leaders and facilitators of small groups. She will be attending her first retreat with the Board in Phila over the Labor Day weekend. Undoubtably, she will be learning a lot that she can share with our own groups. She is looking forward to a new and exciting year. Mary Ann has a Master’s degree in Leadership Development and Psychology and has attended Harvard Divinity School.