Chalice Circles, a small-group ministry program started in 2004, 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. Some years (like this one), Winter sessions are available. They run January through May. Sign up for the Winter sessions occurs in December.
Each session, whether it begins in October or January, 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-UpSign up occurs in the fall of each year, usually in September.
Designed for Members, Friends, and newcomers to UUCV participants in our Chalice Circles 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. Because we are sometimes overwhelmed with sign ups, 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. See Format above for Winter Chalice Circle information.
ResourcesChalice Circle Resources is a compilation of media that accompanies each session. Most are web-based, though magazine articles and books are also often listed. Below are the resources for the most recent and impending sessions.