Communities within Community – Connect, Grow, Serve

Registration: September 6 – 27, 2020 (information below)
Sessions: October 2020 – March 2021

What is Small Group Ministry (SGM)?


Though a series of meetings with a small group of people, we

  • To build community with deeper connections and friendships
  • To explore personal and spiritual growth
  • To provide service.

Why is it named Small Group Ministry?

Group size is limited to enhance the opportunity for personal sharing and the development of trust and friendships.

As we share our own truths and listen to the truths of others, our connections deepen, and we are better able to lend care and support and to “minister” to each other.

Distinguishing SGM Characteristics

  • Each group has a facilitator trained to lead in an environment of open exchange, kindness, and trust.
  • The members of the group agree to a covenant (agreement) about how we treat each other, including elements related to respect, privacy, attendance, and time keeping.
  • The groups follow a specific meeting structure.
  • Group size is up to 10 people.
  • Any member or friend of the church may register.
  • The groups meet for 2 hours approximately every two weeks for ten sessions.
  • The topics of the sessions are a means to get know each other and to explore values, beliefs, and experiences.
  • Most of the time is spent in respectful listening and sharing.
  • When we meet in person, each group does a service project for the church or the larger community. This church year, 2020-21, doing a service project will be optional.
  • A Small Group Ministry is different from a discussion group, study group, debate society, therapy group, problem-solving group, committee, or an affinity group.

What is the meeting format like?

  • Opening: Each meeting starts with chalice lighting or sounding a chime and a relevant reading.
  • Check-in: Each person is asked to share how they are feeling.
  • Topic:
    • Readings.
    • Questions and requests to stimulate responses to each session’s topic.
  • Sharing: Each person has a time for uninterrupted sharing of their responses as a reflection of their individual journey. After all have shared, there may be time for open discussion.
  • Administrative matters.
  • Check-out: Likes and wishes from each person, how they are feeling.
  • Closing: Reading, extinguishing the flame or sounding a chime, and optional closing ritual.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the SGM Program organized at UUCE?

  • UUCE initiated its SGM program in 2003.
  • It is directed by a steering committee working closely with the minister. They select and train facilitators and develop topics for the sessions.
  • For more information, click UUCE SGM Facilitator Training Manual, revised 11-12-18 or find this attachment at the bottom of the page.

Are Small Group Ministries unique to our church?

  • Small Group Ministry programs are thriving all across the country in UU congregations. These programs have been hugely successful in creating a true sense of community, especially in congregations whose size has grown to the point where it is difficult to know everyone.
  • More information is available on the UU Small Group Ministry Network website,

How do I find out more about Small Group Ministry at UUCE?

Topics for 2020-2021

Each session will have a topic that is inspired by our various monthly church worship themes. Proposed topics for the 2020-21 SGM series are: Story, Deep Listening, Beloved Community, Stillness, Commitment, Healing, Renewal, Imagination, and Becoming.

How do I join a Small Group Ministry?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for church year 2020-21, the SGM groups will meet online via Zoom for 2 hours approximately every two weeks for a total of 10 meetings from late October 2020 through March 2021.

  • Registration will take place from Sunday, September 6 through Sunday, September, 27, 2020, by filling out a Google Form SGM Registration Form online.
    • The form can be accessed from a link in the Weekly Connections email newsletter announcement beginning September 2.
  • There will be a drop-in and leave-any-time information session about the SGM program and registration each Sunday in September (6, 13, 20, 27) 2020 from 11:15am-noon via Zoom (link in the Weekly Connections email newsletter announcement).
  • A one-time voluntary donation of $10-$40 is suggested to support program expenses and the church budget.
  • Payment can be made by
    • visiting the “Online Giving” page and following the simple instructions

    • mailing a check to the UUCE office, 1685 West 13th Avenue, Eugene, OR 97402 with “UUCE” in the Pay to the Order of line and “SGM” in the Memo/For line.
  • A commitment to attend each of the SGM sessions is requested.    

PDF: UUCE SGM Covenant of Right Relationship and Other Information
Covenant: 11-20-17  Other Information: 11-23-20

PDF: UUCE SGM Facilitator Training Manual
Revised: 11-12-18

SGM Steering Committee 2020-2021

  • Dick Loescher, Chair
  • Bonnie Koenig
  • Jennifer Tucker
  • Kat Johnson

Small Group Ministry web page revised by Dick Loescher, September 5, 2020