Connect

Small Groups

           
       SPRING SESSIONS     Sign up now!     
          GROUP   DATES & TIMES  
    Thursday Evenings
  7 - 8:30 PM  
May 4, 16, 30; Jun 13

 
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Connection - with conversation and reflection!

What is a Small Group?
A Small Group is a friendly circle of 6-12 people who meet regularly to reflect on things that matter and deepen their connections with each other. It’s a popular program in many Unitarian Universalist congregations, including ours.   
 
We discuss a wide range of topics in a structured format that provides time to share, reflect, and have meaningful conversations. Because these groups are small, every participant has a chance to hear and be heard. 

When a new group forms, some members may not know each other at all. Bonds develop as we share thoughts about life’s ultimate questions, the feelings close to our hearts, and the spiritual issues with which we wrestle.  New to our church? A small group is a great way to get to know us. Longtime Member? Here's an opportunity to deepen your relationships and make new friends.  Everyone is invited to join our warm and welcoming circles. 

Small Group DiscussionWhat happens at a Small Group?
At a typical session, we start with a “check in,” sharing what is in our hearts as we gather. The group’s facilitator then provides a topic for reflection and discussion. We try to listen carefully and take time to reflect before responding to others, rather than jumping ahead and thinking about what we will say in return. Brief periods of silence are part of the process. Sharing our thoughts, feelings, and experiences - sometimes serious, sometimes humorous - leaves us feeling connected with each other, glad we came, and looking forward to meeting again.

Each series of Small Groups offers a range of topics for reflection and in-depth conversation.  Topics for Spring include:

Radical Hospitality
Ourselves and Our Stories
Am I a Racist? 
Feeding the "Good Wolf"
Compassion in Responding to Views contrary to Your Own      
Happiness vs. Meaning in our Lives
Social Justice Passions
Chaos

Who should join a group?
Everyone and anyone, from newcomers to long-time church members. Group size is limited to allow everyone ample opportunity to share.

When are Small Groups?
New sessions start each Spring and Fall. We offer 8-session and 4-session bi-weekly groups in the daytime and evenings. Choose the one that's best for your schedule! Current groups this spring are full, but a new 4-session group will be offered in May and June. 

How do I join a Small Group?
Sign up online using the form on this page. When a new series of groups starts up, we'll have sign-up sheets on our bulletin board in the main lobby and at Fellowship Hour, or you can contact us. 

Where do Small Groups meet?
All groups except the Family Group meet in the Parlor on the main floor or the Lounge on the upper floor of our church.  The Family Group meets in a member's home, where a family-friendly supper is followed by adult Small Group session, with separate activities provided for the children.

For More Information:  

Email us:  smallgroups@westhartforduu.org
Call us: Anne Bailey, 860-379-7740

People are talking about Small GroupsComments from Small Group participants:

I came to Small Group for insight and conversation and I found my church "family."  -Judy Englehart

I feel as if church acquaintances became my  church friends because of the Small Group meetings.  - Lorraine Bulba  

There's no better way to get to know the people you sit with on Sundays on a deeper, more personal level.  Small Groups are about giving and receiving and sharing of ourselves, our ideas and our stories.  Being a part of small groups has become a vital and cherished part of my spiritual practice.  - Laura Chomentowski

The Small Group experience in a large church is one of the best ways to get to know people, especially for those new to the church.  The variety of topics and outlooks make for interesting and enlightening discussions. - Janet Henderson

I returned  to church after a long absence of attending, I wasn't sure why I decided to return to church. Feeling like a fish out of water, I went to a Small Groups meeting. Now I know why I returned. I welcomed the vulnerability and honesty of the group.
- Louise Brinton

I have been attending "Small Groups" for close to 10 years and wouldn't want to miss it. It's a safe and inspiring place to discuss any number of topics. It's a place to make new friends and to make your church experience so much richer. It could be the best 2 hours you spent all week. - Brigit Heidorn

I've been involved in several Small Groups, and they are a wonderful way to get to know others at church; a great way to enhance old friendships and to make new ones. - Linda Scacco

The Family Small Group provided my husband and me the opportunity to consider spiritual questions with other church members in a low-stress environment, while our kids played elsewhere in the church, supervised by caring young people.  It helped us all to connect to the church community in a way that attending weekly service simply could not. - Kate Howard-Bender

“One of the realizations I had the other night - is that being in small group is a completely different experience than any other type of church involvement.  It's very, very different than being on a committee or volunteering in the church school or in the food ministry etc.  

There are a couple of longtime members in my group that I have seen in passing, or in the pews, for years, but who I have never gotten to know.  In just one small group - our very first session - I learned more about them than I ever have in all of these years.  This was a profound realization to me.  The power of our small groups is always revealing itself to me in new ways." - From a regular participant