Chalice Circles – Small Group Ministry

Small Group Ministry (SGM) provides a format with which we nurture connections and explore spirituality within our congregations. These small groups meet monthly with agreed upon time, place and topic.

“Covenant groups are a transformational practice through which we, with others, can discover our own underlying assumptions about reality and examine our ways of being, some of which have become so habitual that they seem to us just ‘the way things are.’ The practice of Small Group Ministry does ask us to suspend judgment long enough to hear respectfully the understandings of others, even those vastly different from our own.”
—Hill, Robert L., The Complete Guide to Small Group Ministry: Saving the World Ten At a Time. Boston: Skinner House Books, 2003.

“As Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregants and ministers, we are humanist, Buddhist, atheist, Christian, Jewish, pagan, eco-feminist, and more. This diversity of religious ideas and theological claims often makes it difficult to find a common ground, a place where we might all stand comfortably as Unitarian Universalists. This challenge is difficult, but not impossible if we step outside the language of classic, Christian theological discourse and undertake a social analysis of group power as a religious phenomenon. We can then affirm the foundation of our religious experience as the regenerating power of life itself. This affirmation unites us all as one religious people who have a diversity of theological perspectives on the human experience universal salvation. We thus begin with an explanation of the way in which we work together.”
—Thandeka, The Life of Small Group Ministries.

small group ministry


Why are we here (in church)?  Probably on a quest for Truth and Meaning at some level, and maybe to belong to a group of like-minded folks.  One of the ways we can pursue our personal quest for meaning, and get to know 10 – 12 people is in a “Chalice Circle.”  These are small groups who covenant to meet together every month for a year.  There is a standard format for each meeting — opening & closing readings, chalice lighting, personal check-in and check-out, and discussion of a group-selected topic.  Chalice Circles are a great way to make new friends at TJ, while also performing service projects and socializing together.

There are 10+ circles this year, meeting on different days and times, so there is a choice likely to fit your schedule. All TJ members and friends are invited to join a Chalice Circle.  Groups are open now, and TJ visitors are welcome.  Email our Membership Coordinator at or call 425-6943 to find a group for you!