First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church

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9:45-10:45 a.m. every Sunday in the Religious Education Office Suite.

Are you interested in connecting more deeply with folks at First Jefferson? Visitors and newcomers are welcome to join members and friends as we explore meaningful topics each Sunday morning. We seek to deepen our own self-understanding and foster closeness and connectedness. A weekly structured drop-in session designed as a safe place to build friendships, nurture spiritual health, strengthen our faith and serve.

Journeys Session Facilitation Guide

We look forward to the topic you are planning and will present. Following is Journeys weekly format. If you have a variation to suggest for your session please discuss it before hand with Karen Burkett, Nancy Hynes, Kaela Wynn, or Judy Gutierrez.  Once your session is prepared and timed, please send a copy to Karen and Nancy for inclusion in Journeys “archives.” These will be published on our website at some point, and will be shared with other UU Small Group Ministries. Please feel free to call with questions about this preparation process that may arise.

TIME each section of the session once you have it prepared.  A sample is attached.

(PREPARE the room: Leave a welcoming empty chair as a reminder of those not in attendance, or for a visitor; set out the sign-in sheet, the chalice, cloth and matches, straighten chairs.)

GREETING….Begin at 9:45

PRELIMINARIES (brief: what is the Reflection topic, pass the sign-in sheet, any business or announcements)

COVENANT: Read the short version of the covenant

CHALICE LIGHTING with opening words (ask a group member to light)

CHECK-IN: A statement to remind the group of the process, followed by Check-In:

  • “We take turns around the circle; we practice respectful listening, as each person shares briefly & uninterrupted, something of a spiritual or personal significance from their own life. It is alright to pass.”
  • The facilitator leads off modeling the check in
  • Ask at the end of the cycle…”Would anyone who passed earlier like to add something to the check-in now?”

FOCUS: A reading on the day’s topic  

DISCUSSION based on 3 prepared questions. You may use only one, but be prepared!

CHECK-OUT with Likes and Wishes: “What did you like or what would you like to change?” or ”What are you feeling as we close?” (You can ask for a one word response if time is short.) or “This may be a chance to briefly share thoughts held back until now.”

CLOSING words/ quotation related to the topic of the day.

EXTINGUISH THE CHALICE (ask a group member to do this)

“So may we be.” Or “May you go in peace.” Or “Namaste.”  Or other.


Journeys Chalice Circle: Creating Poetry led by Melissa Jeffrey
First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church
Sunday August 28, 2011

The following is an example of how to time a session. Once you have created the session, read it back to your self, timing it as you go. Insert the correct timing in the format below. It seems best to work backwards into the discussion. Knowing how long or where to adjust the opening and closing parts of the session tell you how much time is available for the “middle,” which is the discussion, or in your case the teaching. Make sense? Call either Karen or me with any questions…don’t hesitate.  - Nancy

9:45 - 9:48
Greeting, Preliminaries, Brief Covenant

9:48 - 9:50
Lighting of Chalice and opening words

9:50 - 10:00
Check In

10 - ____
Focus and Discussion

10:38 - 10:44
Check out

10:44 - 10:45
Closing words & Extinguish the Chalice

Last Updated on Friday, 08 August 2014 14:56

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