[Uucf-bible] UUCF Small Group Resource Sharing: One Model
RevRonRobinson at aol.com
RevRonRobinson at aol.com
Tue Feb 13 20:17:38 EST 2007
Hi all. Below is a small group format that is used in the UUCF group at
Horizon Church in the Dallas area. First is the purpose of the group, second is
the covenant they agree to, and then the format is given. Below the format I
have added a few of the other conversation sharing topics they have used
within that framework. I don't have the specific readings that were used but
there are references to them. While some of the structure may vary depending on
whether your group is two (which it can be) or twenty, I hope you find this
helpful. We will be posting these and other small group links and resources up
on our website soon. Thanks to the Horizon group for sharing. If you have
material you could share from your gatherings, please send it to me. Thanks in
advance, blessings, Ron
Small Group Resource:
The purpose of this UUChristian Chalice Circle is to provide a forum for
enriching our spiritual lives through personal discovery of the heart, meaning
and tradition of Christianity. We gather in fellowship to support one
another in our personal pursuit of a deeper Christian experience.
In order to create this space of encouragement, support and exploration,
members of this UUChristian Chalice Circle covenant with one another to honor:
1) Each member’s turn to speak by limiting interruptions and cross talk
2) The diversity and significance of every member’s experiences and
beliefs - this is a forum for sharing and dialogue, not a forum for debate.
3) The confidentiality of the personal stories and experiences shared
UUChristian Chalice Circle
May 1, 2005
Purpose and Covenant
Opening Prayer or Reading
1:10 Moment of Silence to Center ourselves and be Present
· “In Centering Prayer, we go beyond thought and image, beyond the
senses and the rational mind, to that center of our being where God is working
a wonderful work.” ~Basil Pennington
· “Silence is God’s first language. All else is poor translation.”
1:15 Personal check-in and Introductions
1:25 Questions for consideration and response drawn from Simply Pray by
Erik Walker Wikstrom
Wikstrom suggests there are four types of prayer practice in one form or
another in every religious tradition:
· Naming (Christian term: Praise & Thanksgiving) – naming the many
ways that the holy and the sacred move in our lives and in the wider world
o Currently, where and how is the sacred present in your life? What
name or expression of gratitude would describe this sacred part of your life?
· Knowing (Christian term: Confession) – knowing ourselves fully, in
both our strengths and weaknesses
o What challenges are you facing today in being or fully accepting who
· Listening (Christian term: Meditation or Contemplation) –
listening to that “voice of quiet stillness” that resides in each of us
o How do you find that quiet place in your soul? Do you “check in”
with it daily?
· Loving (Christian term: Petition or Intercession) – reaching out
in loving concern to the world around us
o Do you ever feel a strong impulse to “call out” to the divine or
the All on behalf of others? How do you honor to this impulse?
2:15 Announcements or Business
§ Next series of meetings – God’s Politics?
2:25 Brief check-out. How are you now, after the meeting?
Other Readings and Questions for Consideration and Response:
For Isaiah, John and Jesus, the beginning of the GOOD NEWS takes place in
the wilderness. What is wilderness?
· Name some of the wilderness places that you observe
o in the world around you (environment, politics btwn nations, global
economy, wars and hopes for peace…)
o closer to home (your community, workplace, schools your children or
grandchildren attend, home, in the eyes of others…)
o in your own life (btwn you and someone you love, around your church
or workplace, your inner “sanctuary”… )
· In exploring this passage metaphorically, consider these
o Why do you suppose the GOOD NEWS begins in the wilderness? Why
might the cry be heard there rather than other parts of life?
o What are some ways people avoid the wilderness. In what sense does
our avoidance of the wilderness rob us of GOOD NEWS?
· Name a wilderness that is part of your life today
o How might your inner voice (your inner John the Baptist) be calling
you to separate from old worn out patterns and move toward the possibility of
o Were you to listen to that voice, what would you do in the next 24
o By not doing so, how will you prevent the GOOD NEWS that wants to
happen in you from being heard.
· What is your Christian heritage? What turned you away from that
heritage? How do you feel about the current “public face” of Christianity?
· Would you prefer to call yourself a Christian or a follower of the
teachings of Jesus? What is the difference? Have you or can you define
Christianity according to your own conscience?
Questions for consideration and response
(drawn from The Heart of Christianity by Marcus Borg, Chapter 4 “God: The
Heart of Reality”)
1. Was there ever a time in your life when your view of God made a
dramatic shift, or when “God” was difficult word or concept for you? How do you
define God now and how does that shape your sense of what a Christian life
2. Frederick Buechner wrote “Listen to your life. Listen to what
happens to you because it is through what happens to you that God speaks…. It’s
in language that’s not always easy to decipher, but it’s there powerfully,
memorably, unforgettably.” Does God ‘speak’ to you? If so, how and when?
Readings from Theodore Parker / Questions for consideration and response
Parker speaks both disapprovingly and encouragingly of the forms and
doctrines – the “transient” - of Christianity. He refers to them as “mire and dirt”
in one paragraph and, in a later paragraph, blessings which are sent down “
to moisten the fainting violet and form streams which gladden”.
· What is your experience, both positive and negative, of that which
may be considered the “transient” in Christianity?
· How has your life been blessed by these aspects of Christianity
and how can you reclaim (or have you reclaimed) that which perhaps feels as if
it had been taken from you?
Readings and Questions for Consideration and Response
“And now let us look down into ourselves to discover there the struggle
between separation and reunion, between sin and grace, in our relation to others,
in our relation to ourselves, and in our relation to the Ground and aim of
· What do you think of Tillich’s view of “sin” as “separation” from
others; from ourselves; from our Ground of Being (God)? Do you have a
different experience/definition of sin?
· Have you experienced moments of “grace” described by Tillich as “
reunion” and complete acceptance? Again, do you have a different
experience/definition of grace?
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