Why Join a Circle?
As a congregation, we are committed to giving, receiving, and growing in the Universalist spirit of love and hope. This is soul work.
The purpose of a circle is to provide a sacred space where the soul can show up and find room to grow. Circles invite us into deep listening and deep connection: with ourselves, with others, and with that which is greater than all of us.
Which Circle Is Right For Me?
- Soul Matters Circles offer an opportunity to reflect more deeply on our monthly worship themes through readings, deep questions, and simple spiritual practices. We offer groups that are open to everyone, as well as for shared identities, such as parents, people of color and indigenous people, and people living with mental illness.
- Spiritual Deepening Circles explore a particular topic or spiritual practice together, such as meditation and Chi-Gung.
- Newcomer Circles offer an opportunity to learn more about our liberal faith tradition, reflect on our spiritual journeys, and connect with others who are also getting to know First Universalist.
Circles are grounded in a couple of core assumptions:
- When we listen attentively to each other, we can open up for deeper truths and insights to emerge.
- Each one of us has access to an inner truth, a “still, small voice” that is a trustworthy guide. Members of the group are not asked to accept this as doctrine, but--at least for the time that the group meets--to live as though this were true.
Creating a habitat for the soul takes intention and can be aided by particular practices. As we undertake this journey together, we agree to be together in these ways:
- We speak our own truth.
- We listen receptively to the truth of others.
- We offer each other the nurturing and empowering gifts of silence and laughter. We offer the gift of silence by refraining from commenting on each other’s words during personal reflection time -- in other words, “no crosstalk.”
- In the words of Parker Palmer: “No fixing, no saving, no advising, no setting each other straight”
- We are “each other’s people.” During the time that we’re in a circle together, we offer each other support and compassion.
The following structure provides a sturdy container for open-hearted reflection.
- Chalice Lighting and Reading
- Centering Silence
- Sharing Readings (poems, sermon excerpts)
- Deep Listening and Reflection on the Readings
- Second Round of Reflections: e.g. What is stirred in you as you listened to others? Any “aha’s” or insights? What themes emerged for you?
- Sharing Gratitudes
- Extinguish Chalice
Where Do Circles meet?
At First Universalist Church, 3400 Dupont Avenue South, Minneapolis.
Is Childcare Available?
We are delighted to provide childcare free of charge for all circles. To request childcare, please submit this online form at least 7 days in advance.
How Do I Sign Up?
Click here to register online. Registration is open from January 10-29, 2019.
Please contact Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink at Elaine@firstuniv.org with any questions.