“When someone deeply listens to you, it is like holding out a dented cup you have had since childhood and watching it fill up with cold fresh water.”
Participating in a small group is a wonderful way to get that small church feeling and still enjoy the benefits of being part of a large church community! The following are our current small groups and their contacts for you to connect with. If the choices are just too daunting or you simply would like to talk to a real person, visit our Get Connected Table in NJ Hall every Sunday to talk with someone about how you can get more connected at UUC or contact Sharla Wipplinger, Acting Connections Coordinator.
Our Caring Shawl group meets on the second Sunday of each month from 1:30–3 p.m., in the King room. It’s a congenial group with engaging conversations as our needles and hooks fly, making shawls to be given by the Care Team to someone in our community in need of comfort. We welcome knitters and crocheters of all ages, and have some church-provided yarn for those needing supplies. We also welcome shawls from those preferring to do their needleworking on their own.
Contact: Izzie Wylde at email@example.com.
Coming of Age Parent Group
This group is for parents and/or guardians of current Coming of Age students. We will meet four times throughout the school year with an additional Workshop offered for both parents and mentors on writing their own faith statements. The Coming of Age Parent Group is a small group ministry to support parents through this important transitional year in the lives of their youth, (and thus themselves!) Parents are invited to attend even if they cannot attend all four.
Share our parenting experiences and support one another through this exciting and sometimes challenging Coming of Age year! We will discuss some of the topics that the youth will be discussing in Coming of Age as well as reflecting on what it means to parent a Coming of Age student.
Contact Justin Almeida for more information.
Covenant groups are a form of small group ministry at UUC designed to offer mutual support on the path to spiritual growth. Advance registration is required.
Each group is made up of eight to ten members plus two facilitators who meet twice per month for two hours, from mid-October through early June. Some groups meet during the day, others at night or on the weekend. Some groups meet at the church, others in private homes. Covenant groups offer the gift of deep listening and sharing, speaking to the center around a structured topic. Reflections are free of cross-talk, refraining from offering advice or trying to “fix” a problem. Groups also bond and grow through undertaking two service projects together during their year together – one for the church and one for a community organization.
Parents/guardians of young children (from birth through grade 6) can bring the kids along to a special Parent Covenant Group, which offers a family-friendly version of the above. This group meets just once a month, on the third Sunday from 3:00-6:00 pm at UUC. The first two hours are for the adults to engage one another in covenanted discussion on the theme of the month, while children are with childcare providers down the hall. During the last hour, adults and children gather together to share a meal. Facilitation of adult discussion is rotated among participants. New participants are encouraged to come any time.
Sign-ups for Covenant Groups for the 2016/17 church year are now closed, although we do welcome new participants throughout the year as openings occur.
Contact Janine Larsen, Director of Ministries, for more information.
The UUC Humanist’s programs include speakers or discussions on topics ranging from the principles of humanism to the evaluation of social problems. The group is open to all who enjoy the scientific approach and rational thinking.
Humanism is a rational philosophy informed by science, inspired by art, motivated by compassion. Humanism draws its goals of life from human need and experience rather than from theological super-naturalism or ideological abstractions, and asserts that humanity must take responsibility for its own destiny. Read more about humanism on the American Humanist Association web site.
Contact: Jonathan Tweet
Intergenerational Taekwondo Practice Group
A weekly practice session for Taekwondo practitioners of all ages. Wear comfortable, loose clothing or your uniform, if you have one. Come prepared to move, learn, and have fun!
Contact: please contact the church office for more information.
Interweave is the official name that LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning and allies) groups in the UU family use as a common means of identification. UUC’s group meets every other month (Oct, Dec, Feb, April, June), on first Fridays, usually here at UUC for a potluck, sometimes a summer picnic or whatever else we might dream up.
If you would like more information about Interweave or to get on our email list, contact Rick Johnson.
UUC offers two opportunities for weekly meditation with a group:
- The Wednesday Night Meditation Group welcomes people of all ages and levels of skill who are interested in strengthening their practice in a group setting. Meetings are every Wednesday from 7 :30-8:30 in the UUC Sanctuary. Contact: Mark Lee or visit the Meditation Group website
- Friday morning Zen Meditation & Study is held from 10 a.m. – Noon in Knatvold. This includes chanting, two periods of silent sitting, walking or movement meditation, tea and teaching. Currently, the group is reading and discussing Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience, by Sharon Salzberg (available in the UUC bookstore). Drop-in attendance is welcome. Contact: Janine Larsen, UUC Director of Ministries
This group is open to all who identify as male, ages fifteen through one hundred and fifteen! It meets on the second and fourth Wednesdays, year round. Each meeting is commenced with a brief check-in from each member, followed by discussion of a topic that is in most cases announced in advance. Members rotate directing the meeting and bringing a topic for discussion. Topics are far-ranging but tend toward emotional/personal issues that men face. While attendance is open, we prefer regular attendance as schedules permit.
Contact: Jeff Parke.
OWL (Our Whole Lives) Parent Group
This group is for parents and/or guardians of current 8th grade OWL students. Parents are invited to attend even if they cannot attend all three. We will meet three times throughout the school year with four goals in mind:
- Get to know other parents with kids the same ages
- Share parenting experiences and support one another
- Discuss some of the lessons that the 8th graders will be experiencing in OWL and explore how to be more effective in talking with your kids about sexuality.
For more information contact Justin Almeida.
Have you ever wondered how quantum physics might relate to spirituality? The idea that everything is energy, that the observer influences whether that energy is seen as a wave or a particle, that quantum physics seeks the source of all things and that nonduality is possible, influences our understanding of spirituality. Join us on the second Wednesday of each month to examine these ideas and more. Contact: Alicia Gardner.
Science Book Discussion Group
The Science Book Discussion Group is part of the Unitarian liberal intellectual tradition that includes a free and responsible search for truth and meaning. We meet on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month and welcome new members and friends to join us. It is not necessary to have particular familiarity with the book under discussion–listeners are welcome as well. Contact: David Beatty.
Wednesday Forum is a participatory, nonsectarian discussion group, a place to safely and openly express our voice on the issues, using our own self-sense of respect and honor as a guideline. Meeting every Wednesday from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Contact: Nan Bentley.
Women’s Book Group
Meets second Sundays of each month, 4–6 p.m. in the Knatvold room
Create community through books! Come to a first meeting of other UUC women interested in reading and discussing books, attending an occasional literary event in Seattle, and growing friendships. Please bring a snack to share.
Contact Carol Flannigan or Jane Spalding for more information.
Are you a journal writer, poet, aspiring novelist, or blogger? Or do you just have an interest in writing? The UUC Writing Group meets on Saturday afternoons, starting promptly at 1 p.m., in Alcott. We have the room reserved until 4 p.m., but you can leave earlier. For more information, please contact Hans Andersson.
Young Adult Group
UUC is home to a thriving, friendly community of young adults in their 20s and 30s who explore Unitarian Universalism through fellowship, socializing, open-minded discussion, and service. The group welcomes anyone who self-identifies as a young adult. Every Sunday after the second service, we gather in Nathan Johnson Hall to socialize and greet new people, then go to the nearby Grateful Bread coffee house for lunch. The group also organizes get-togethers on weeknight evenings, alternating spiritual discussions with social nights.
The UUC Young Adults have a Meetup page and Facebook group that list upcoming activities—newcomers are welcome to join our Meetup and simply show up for the next discussion or activity!
YA Coordinators Samantha Herndon and Gregory Roberts-Gassler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I start a new group at UUC?
Perhaps you love to read and would like to start a book discussion group or perhaps you would like to start a group for parents who have children similar ages to yours? To start a new group or project, members should do the following.
- Contact the church office to determine which program area of the church your activity would fall under, so that you can be in touch with the appropriate staff person to talk about your idea.
- After talking with the program staff liaison, does it still make sense to start something new, rather than partnering with an existing group or project? If it does, then take a look at our Application for UUC Project or Group which comes with a discernment guide to help you think through what you want to do, and how you want to engage the congregation. These are available from the office.
- Recruit at least five members from the UUC community who will commit to be involved.
- Think through what you hope to accomplish; how it supports the mission and goals of the church; what your next specific action steps will be; and what kind of support you might want from the church congregation. With these considerations in mind, fill out the Application for UUC Project or Group and submit it to the relevant staff liaison.
For more information or guidance, please contact the church office or call (206) 454-7710.