Chalice Circles

On this page:
Small Group Ministries
Chalice Circles Leadership Team
Service Projects
Meeting Format
Order of Service for Circle Meetings


Small Group Ministries

chalice_circle_handsChalice Circles are small group ministries that were formed and began meeting at UUCC in Fall 2013. The circles form a network of small groups which meet regularly to deepen and strengthen interpersonal connections, encourage spiritual growth, and provide open, supportive and nurturing spaces.

As participants share deeply with one another, they strengthen their caring for each other, and they are drawn into mutual ministry. As they improve their understanding of Unitarian Universalist principles and values, they are further moved to action both in our congregation and in the community.

Each Chalice Circle has seven to 10 members and meets at least once per month (twice is encouraged). Participants commit to meet from October through May and have the option to continue through the summer. Circle members will reconsider their group’s composition annually.

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Nuts and Bolts

Each Chalice Circle has one or two trained and supported facilitators who encourage leadership within the group. Circles are always open up to the 10-person limit. Once a circle reaches 10 members, it is encouraged to evolve and generate new groups. Circle members are welcome to invite others regardless of membership or friend status at our church.

Each Chalice Circle creates and adhere to its own behavioral covenant which guides its process and relationships.

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Chalice Circles Leadership Team

The Chalice Circles Leadership Team that guides the overall program consists of Rev. Molly Housh Gordon, Allie Gassmann and Peter Holmes.

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Service Projects

Each Chalice Circle will take up one service project to the church and two service projects to the community each year.

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As its first service project, one of our Chalice Circles prepared a meal at the Ronald McDonald House for the families staying there. Pictured, from left, are Janice Smith, Allie Gassmann, Lisa Guillory, Nancy Boon, Janet Groat, Meredith Donaldson and Brian Bowles.
chalice_circle_quilt-042615 (Medium)
On April 26, 2015, one of our Chalice Circles sewed and quilted two baby blankets as a service project. Katie Ensign-Bedford displayed one of the quilts while Bonnie Johnson celebrated behind her. Others helping were Mark Johnson, Ellen and Ian Thomas, and John Clark.

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Chalice Circle Meeting Format

Circles use a standard meeting format laid out by the leadership team and reflect upon the month’s worship theme. Each member of a circle will be deeply listened to during each meeting. The circles are not meant to be therapy, support groups, or discussion groups. While the circle meetings will not be confidential, they will be sensitive to the depth and vulnerability that Chalice Circles seek to create. Circles may decide that they would like to share food and drink either before the chalice is lit or after it is extinguished because eating and drinking during the meeting would distract from deep listening and sharing.

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Order of Service for Circle Meetings

  • Singing easy, well-known songs.
  • Chalice lighting.
  • Brief check-in without cross talk. The facilitator may choose a question for reflection.
  • Topical reading, song, film clip, poem, etc.
  • Time for silence.
  • Deep reflection – a time for each person to respond and reflect without cross-talk or feedback.
  • Optional open discussion.
  • Check-out – What are you taking with you? What touched you?
  • Extinguishing the chalice.
  • Closing Words.

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