Women’s Spirituality Groups are intentional, lay-led small groups that deepen and expand the ministry of our congregation. Founded on the experience of Small Group Ministry within Unitarian Universalism, the small group model offers participants:
• opportunities for deeper relationships (Intimacy);
• an opportunity for deeper spiritual exploration and search for meaning (Ultimacy); and
• opportunities to grow as leaders, while strengthening our church in numbers, generosity, cooperation and a sense of well-being (Growth).
At First Church in Boston, our women’s groups share a covenant: a set of relational ground rules that participants agree upon. This creates a safe environment that fosters friendship and spiritual exploration. Our ground rules include commitment, respectful listening, confidentiality, and speaking from one’s own experience using “I” statements.
Groups of 6-10 women, including a facilitator, commit to meet monthly throughout the church year (Sept-June) for about 2 hours. The group is “closed” after the second meeting of the church year, meaning that the group is made up of the same women month to month. Groups can change year to year by adding new members or forming a new group.
Each gathering has a session plan that serves as a guide for the time together and as a springboard for discussion. A session typically includes an opening reading; a check-in; a time to focus on a topic or activity consistent with our Purposes and Principles; time for silence, and a closing reading. Topics vary widely (e.g. Making Choices, Forgiveness, Loss, Play). A “check-in” is time when each person is asked to briefly answer a question like, “What’s most on your mind or heart today?” or “What do you need to leave behind in order to be fully present here?”
Some participants find that the check-in becomes the heart of the group process as it offers a time to be heard and a time to listen carefully to what is going on in one another’s lives.
In addition to fostering friendship and growth, small groups offer the potential to provide service as a group to the church community or the community at large. Women’s Spirituality Group members and leaders brainstorm how they want to get involved and channel our spiritual inclination to be of use.
If you are interested in joining a small group, please contact the Rev. Rosemary Lloyd: firstname.lastname@example.org