Connect & Grow

Small Groups

Share our journeys and make connections -
with conversation & reflection!

What is a Small Group?

A Small Group is a friendly circle of 7-12 people who meet regularly to share their thoughts and feelings on a range of topics related to their spiritual journeys, beliefs, and life experiences. 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  and reflect on some of life’s ultimate questions, spiritual issues, and everyday experiences and challenges.  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 Fall included:
Geography of our Lives
Who are we as UU's?
Being Contemplative
Modern Day Sabbath
Expectations
What's Right With You?

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

When are Small Groups?

New afternoon and evening sessions start each Spring and Fall. Watch for announcements in late January about our spring 2018 schedule! 

In addition to our sessions for adults, we offer a Friday evening Family Small Group that includes a family-friendly meal, followed by an adult Small Group session and separate activities for the children. This group is scheduled to work around busy fall and spring sports schedules. 

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On Sunday, February 11, we will offer a "Try Out a Small Group” session after church, 11:30-12:30.
Wondering if a Small Group is of you? This is an opportunity to see what one is like. 

Following the service, you can go downstairs, get your coffee, and bring it up to the Program Center on the main floor. We will offer a shortened version of a Small Group session. Anne Bailey will facilitate a conversation on the topic, "Finding Community - Why Do We Come to Church?"  Anyone is free to come. A sign-up will be posted on the bulletin board in the main lobby, but last minute attendees will also be welcome - newcomers and visitors, especially!

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How do I join a Small Group?

When the next schedule is announced, a form will be available on this page so you can sign up online. The month prior to start up, you can also sign up on the easel in the main lobby or at our Small Group table display at Fellowship Hour. You can also contact us by email or phone (see below). 

Where do Small Groups meet?
The adult groups meet in one of the meeting rooms at the church, usually the Parlor on the main floor.  The family group uses multiple spaces.

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