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SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE Creating Intentional MINISTRY in Small Group Ministry Presented at General Assembly June 2003 By.

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Presentation on theme: "SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE Creating Intentional MINISTRY in Small Group Ministry Presented at General Assembly June 2003 By."— Presentation transcript:

1 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE Creating Intentional MINISTRY in Small Group Ministry Presented at General Assembly June 2003 By First Unitarian Church of San Jos First Unitarian Church of San José Small Group Ministry Council A vision without a task is dream A task without a vision is a drudgery But a vision with a task can change the world -- Black Elk

2 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose Preliminaries  Workshop timing  Order of Worship  Chalice lighting  Opening reading

3 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose Who are we? First Unitarian Church of San Jose Small Group Ministry Council  Rev. Lilia Cuervo  Jennie Larson  Ed Massey  Bob Miess  Bob Owen  Julia Rodriguez -- Chair

4 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose Who are we? First Unitarian Church of San Jose Small Group Ministry Council  Rev. Lilia Cuervo  Jennie Larson  Ed Massey  Bob Miess   Bob Owen  Julia Rodriguez -- Chair 

5 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose What might you gain from this workshop?  Awareness  Ideas  Encouragement  Inspiration  Intention  Why high-quality content is so important  Content samples  Web-based content resources

6 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose Why would you want to have small groups? Goals of SGM at First Unitarian of San Jose  Draw us into mutual ministry  Strengthen our congregation  Deepen our understanding of UU principles & values  Continuously develop lay leadership  Challenge us to action & spiritual growth  Express our principles & values in the community  Help members identify their own calling & expression of lay ministry

7 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose How would you organize to support small groups?

8 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose How would you organize to support small groups? Small Groups

9 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose How would you organize to support small groups? Small Groups SGM Council LeadershipMembershipContent

10 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose How would you organize to support small groups? Small Groups SGM Council LeadershipMembershipContent Leaders

11 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose How would you organize to support small groups? Small Groups Ministers SGM Council LeadershipMembershipContent Leaders

12 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose What key roles would be needed for this organization?  Group Member  Group Leader (two per group)  Small Group Ministry Council Member –Leadership team lead –Membership team lead –Content team lead  SGM Support Team Member –Leadership team member –Membership team member –Content team member  Minister

13 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose What would you want the groups to be like?  6-12 Members  Meet first & third weeks of each month, 1 ½ or 2 hours  Worshipful experience, guided by content, based on questions distributed before the meeting  In place of the sermon is sharing our stories in context of deep listening  Topics sometimes synchronized with Sunday Services  Service to the church and the community encouraged  Vessels for mutual support of spiritual growth  Right to reticence  Confidentiality  Not all group members are church members  Open Chair  Birthing

14 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose What would you have the leaders do?  Act as local representative of the lay ministry of our church  Express and model the goals and purposes of the SGM  Assemble the group  Facilitate the group processes  Bring wider context of the church community  Connect ministers with those who have special needs beyond the resources of the group  Mentor one another and future leaders

15 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose What should group leaders be disallowed from doing?  Allow the group to function as a therapy session. –Groups should not focus on advice giving –Groups should not focus on personal problem solving  Promote philosophies that are contrary to UU principles and values.  Allow disrespectful behavior within the group.  Use the group as a platform for the leader’s own perspective.  Dominate the group.

16 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose How would you support the group leaders?  Initial training (one day)  Monthly Leadership Gatherings  Personal mentoring/support by the Leadership Team  Electronic group/website  Content for sessions  SGM FAQ

17 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose What is the Monthly Leadership Gathering?  All leaders gather once each month (second Wednesday evening, 2 hours)  Worship, announcements, training, and mutual support  Our leaders report that this is one of the best parts of being a leader

18 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose What would role would the clergy play?  This is a lay extension of the ministry of the clergy (Multiplication of ministry)  Develop Lay Leadership –Create and sustain a context in which lay ministry can flourish –Help establish and maintain this ministry –Guide and inspire the lay leaders, including the Small Group Ministry Council, the Leadership team, the Content Team, the Membership team, and the group leaders –Lead the Leadership Team in the selection and support of group leaders –Lead the training of group leaders –Lead the Monthly Leadership Gatherings –Assist the Content Team in the development of appropriate, relevant, and inspiring content  Minister to the Congregation –Maintain connections between the Small Group Ministry and the other ministries of the congregation –Respond to the needs of people identified by group leaders

19 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose Why is content so important? “ Quality content makes Small Group Ministries worth going to.” -- Julia Rodriguez  Keeps small groups interesting  Strengthens group bonds  Enriches lay ministry  Provides a strong spiritual experience  Enables growth of SGM

20 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose What do we try to accomplish with content?  Encourage spiritual growth  Maintain a worshipful approach  Enable us to minister to each other  Promote all-church conversations  Acknowledge milestones  Facilitate important transitions  Educate about UU principles  Strengthen bonds to the church

21 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose What types of sessions do we offer?  General  Seasonal  Milestones  Life Rituals

22 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose Encouraging Mutual Ministry Life Rituals  Acknowledge the good and bad times of individual members of group  20 minute ritual  Used before or after the regular content for the day

23 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose Does every group do the same session at the same time? “If you ask three Unitarians a question, you’ll get five answers.” Anonymous

24 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose What’s in a session’s content?  Order of Worship  Preparation  Leader Notes

25 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose What’s in an Order of Worship? “When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.” Buckminster Fuller

26 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose What kind of sharing do we include? “If I had my life to live over… I would have talked less and listened more.” Erma Bombeck “Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.” Jimi Hendrix  Sharing/Deep Listening  Discussion  Feedback  Exploration

27 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose How do you encourage deeper sharing? “If someone listens, or stretches out a hand, or whispers a kind word of encouragement, or attempts to understand a lonely person, extraordinary things begin to happen.” Loretta Girzartis

28 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose What’s the value of Preparation?  Open-ended, provocative questions  Promotes thinking in advance  Creates an ongoing spiritual practice  Enriches the sharing experience  Suggests different approaches  Helps reluctant speakers

29 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose Why do we need Leader Notes?  Enables leaders to lead  Reminds them of their ministry  Prepares for a smooth session  Provides background, training, & resources

30 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose Why do we have a content team?  High level of commitment & experience  Quality assurance & consistency  All-church conversations  Ministerial support  Leader support

31 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose Can we “share the wealth”?  San José SGM web site:  Content website:  Content team

32 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose What challenges might you expect to face?  Birthing  Rapid incorporation of new group members  Growing the structure for more groups  Affinity groups  Small groups do not meet all needs  Evaluation still being refined  Content: –Dealing with complex, educational topics –Coordinating with our Worship calendar –Encouraging more participation –Copyright issues

33 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose Where is the San Jose Church’s Small Group Ministry now?  Started with 8 groups  12 groups and growing –Three women’s groups –One “Twenties & Thirties” group  About 120 participants  Members finding this a rich environment for their own spiritual sustenance and growth

34 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose How long does it take to establish a Small Group Ministry?

35 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose How long does it take to establish a Small Group Ministry?

36 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose Closing “Only out of our lives together as people do patterns of worship or programs for teaching or outreach make sense.” Maria Harris “The central task of the religious community is to unveil the bonds that bind each to all.” Mark Morrison-Reed

37 SMALL GROUP MINISTRY FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSE 06/27/03 © First Unitarian Church of San Jose Q&A “Judge a man [sic] by his questions, rather than his answers.” Voltaire


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