Small Groups

Circle of Chairs“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.”
-John Fox

Book & Discussion Groups Games Night Meditation
Caring Shawls Knit & Crochet Group Groups for Parents Men’s Group
Covenant Groups Interweave (LGBTQIA) Wednesday Forum
Justice Groups & Teen Feed Young Adults Women’s Groups

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. Some groups are structured for adults, several are intergenerational, all are welcoming. Some require advance registration, some invite drop-in attendance. Usually, UUC is able to provide childcare for those groups meeting at the church, if reserved through the church office at least 10 days in advance.

This page provides a general overview of small groups at UUC. Once you’re part of the congregation, we encourage you to set up an account on UUC Connect, which facilitates on-line community, provides event registration, and offers on-line giving to the church. You can request or access your own account from the left-hand menu on UUC’s website (click on “UUC Connect” at the bottom of the menu), by clicking here for the log-in page, or by contacting the church office.

New and experimental small groups are welcome. They need not run all year long. See the bottom of this page for tips on starting a new group. You may also wish to check the UUC calendar for announcements of classes and workshops, and pop-up events, or investigate our social justice ministries.

Below are brief descriptions and contact information for UUC’s active small groups. Scroll down to browse them all, or click on any of the quick links above to jump directly to the group. Need help deciding where you might fit in, or just want to talk with someone about UUC? Come see us any Sunday at the UUC connections stations in Nathan Johnson Hall, attend a UUC Info Session after church most Sundays, or visit the church office at other times.

You may also contact Nick Barnard, Connections Coordinator, or Janine Larsen, Director of Ministries by email or phone. Or, you can fill out our Connections card online and we’ll contact you.

Book & Discussion Groups

Science Book Group

The Science Book 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 Tuesday evenings of each month at the church. We 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 the facilitator with any questions, or to be added to the email list. Or, click here to find this small group through UUC Connect.

Women’s Book Group

Create community through books–UUC women interested in reading and discussing books, attending an occasional literary event in Seattle, and growing friendships. The group opens its membership once or twice a year, announced through the UUC News. Please bring a snack to share.

The Women’s Book Group is a program of the UUC Women’s Council. You can  contact the book group leader(s) here, or find this small group through UUC Connect.

Wednesday Forum

Wednesday Forum is a participatory, nonsectarian discussion group, a place to safely and openly share perspectives on the issues, using our own self-sense of respect and honor as a guideline. We meet at UUC each Wednesday from 11:00 – 1:00 p.m. Topics vary – sometimes we have a guest speaker, sometimes we have an open mic to hear something of interest to those present, sometimes we watch and discuss a video, sometimes we offer an ongoing program. Check the weekly church newsletter for details on upcoming meetings (click here to find the most recent edition of the newsletter on the church website).

Starting in mid- to late January, we’ll be discussing the Great Decisions 2020 program presented by the Foreign Policy Association (FPA). UUC has been hosting this program through our Wednesday Forum group since its beginnings more than 50 years ago. Program booklets may be purchased from the church bookstore or ordered directly from the FPA.

This is a drop in group. You don’t have to be affilitated with UUC to attend. Bring along your sack lunch or a snack and a beverage.

Contact Jeanette Merki or Janine Larsen for more information, or click here to find this small group through UUC Connect.

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Caring Shawls Knitting & Crochet GroupCaring Shawls Oct 2015

Our Caring Shawls group meets at the church on the third Sunday of each month from 1:00–3:00 p.m. We’re 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 needlework on their own. Contact us for more information, or click here to find this small group through UUC Connect.

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UUC All Ages Games Night

From time to time, we gather for a potluck and board games for all ages. Some people bring supper dishes, others eat ahead of time and just bring snacks. Drop in late, take the kids home early, it’s all good. Individuals and families are welcome to bring their own favorite games, or to participate in games brought by others.

Contact the group facilitator for more information, or click here to find this small group through UUC Connect. We haven’t set a schedule for 2020 yet. Let us know if you’re interested, and we’ll keep you posted!

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Interweave

Rainbow hand with thumbs up.Interweave is the official name used in the UU family for LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, and asexual/allies) groups as a common means of identification. UUC’s Interweave group meets every other month (Oct, Dec, Feb, April, June), on first Fridays, at UUC. Usually we share a potluck dinner, but sometimes we have a summer picnic or whatever else we might dream up. Often, we have a guest speaker or other program along with our potluck. Drop in and join us!

If you would like more information about Interweave or to get on our email list, contact us here, or click here to find this small group through UUC Connect.

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Justice Groups and Teen Feed

UUC is an activist church, with a strong commitment to working for justice and caring for the larger community in many ways. Click here to go to the Justice pages and find out more, or click here to find this small group through UUC Connect (link TBA)!

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Men’s Group

This group is open to all who identify as male, ages fifteen through one hundred and fifteen! We meet on fourth Wednesdays, year round. Each meeting begins with a brief check-in from each member, followed by discussion of a topic that is in most cases announced in advance. Members rotate facilitating 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 Michael or Jerry Gilmore for more information, or click here to find this small group through UUC Connect (link TBA).

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Women’s Groups

Activities for UUC women are supported by the UUC Women’s Council. Ongoing activities include the Women’s Book Group (described above), quarterly Women’s Breakfasts (including an interactive program), and Wise Women Connecting. Contact Carol Flannigan for more information on the Women’s Council and related programs, or click here to find our small groups through UUC Connect.

  • Women’s BreakfastsAll who identify as women, generally of high school age or older, are welcome to attend for a tasty breakfast, an interactive program, and lively conversation. These programs are usually priced at $15 per person, payable through on-line registration or at the door (scholarships are available; we don’t want cost to be a barrier to connecting). Friends are welcome! We’ll announce a new schedule in 2020.
  • Wise Women Connecting – This newly formed group offers support and friendship to those who identify as women and are engaging pre-retirement, retirement, and issues of aging. No charge to attend meetings, but we appreciate your RSVP so we can set the space comfortably. Please bring a small plate of finger food to share; beverages are provided.

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Young Adult Group

Click here to go to the UUC Young Adult Group web page

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Groups for Parents

Parents of children, middle schoolers and teens can connect with one another through year-long affinity groups. There is no charge for these groups. UUC members and friends who have children enrolled in RE programs are welcome.

Coming of Age (COA) Parent Group

This group is for parents and/or guardians of current Coming of Age (COA) 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 Melody Moberg, Director of Religous Education, for more information.

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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 Melody Moberg, Director of Religious Education.

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Small Group MinistriesUU Humanists

Small Group Ministries offer companionship and mutual support on the path to spiritual growth. UUC offers three types of Small Group Ministries at present: Covenant & Reflection Groups, Spiritual Practice Groups, and Spiritual Discernment through our UU Wellspring program.

Covenant & Reflection Groups

These groups are guided by a coordinating team known as “Covenant Central.” Participation is by advance registration, which opens in the fall. Most of the groups welcome new participants throughout the year as openings occur. Click here to sign up on-line, or visit the Connections Table on Sunday. Contact Janine Larsen, Director of Ministries, or email Covenant Central for more information.

In our traditional Covenant Groups, you’ll join a group of 8-10 members plus two trained facilitators who meet twice per month for two hours, from mid-October through May. Some groups meet during the day, others at night or on the weekend. Most groups meet in private homes, but some will meet in other spaces. 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 the option of undertaking two service projects together during the year – one project for the church and one for a community organization. Groups are structured to welcome new participants throughout the year as openings occur. Participants are asked to make a commitment to attend for the duration of the group.

Heart to Heart Groups are similar to Covenant Groups, but some reading and preparation is expected prior to each meeting. Each participant needs a Heart to Heart book to guide reflection and sharing. This year, we’ll be using the second book in the series, Soul to Soul. Books can be purchased in paperback or as an eBook at Google Play, the Amazon Kindle Store and other sources. A few books are available to borrow from the Church Office.  Groups of 6-8 meet twice a month for two hours, usually in private homes and in other spaces as may be arranged. New groups can start whenever there are at least 6 people ready to begin, and can set their own schedule and name their own facilitators. Groups may choose to welcome new participants throughout the year as openings occur. Each group usually meets for 14 sessions over 7-8 months, but groups are free to decide on a shorter course. Participants are asked to make a commitment to attend for the duration of the group.

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Spiritual Practice Groups

MEDITATION

  • 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. Drop in attendance. Meetings are every Wednesday from 7 :30-8:30, usually at the church. During the summer months, the group often meets for walking meditation in the Rose Garden at Woodland Park. Check the church Wednesday Meditation Group webpage for current information or contact Mark Lee.
  • Friday morning Zen Meditation & Study is held from 10 a.m. – Noon at UUC. This includes brief opening and closing chanting services, silent sitting, walking meditation, tea and teaching. Drop-in attendance is welcome. The group is a member of the UU Buddhist Fellowship and is affiliated with James Ford, Roshi, a UU Minister, Zen Priest, and Guiding Teacher of Empty Moon Zen Sangha. UUC’s Zen group is led by Janine Larsen, UUC Director of Ministries and a Zen practitioner. For more information, see the UUC Zen page.

OTHER

Please contact Janine Larsen, Director of Ministries, if you are interested in sharing a specific spiritual practice with a group.

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Spiritual Discernment

Please see our UU Wellspring page for more information.

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How do I start a new group at UUC?

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.

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