Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation engages in theme-based ministry. Theme based ministry is an integrated worship and learning practice designed to give us a deeper and richer experience of our faith and practice as Unitarian Universalists. Each month, we explore one theme in depth through worship, music, newsletter reflections, and in small groups called Soul Connections.
Why do we use theme-based ministry?
Using monthly themes from which to build worship and programming over the course of the year allows us to explore topics and questions of great meaning in depth. We are exploring our own Unitarian Universalism by asking the question: How do you live a life of _____? In one month, we might explore integrity. In another, courage. Through various programming, our entire congregation can be engaged in the same question (in different ways) over a period of weeks.
Why do we have Soul Connections groups?
Soul Connections groups provide an opportunity that invites both newer and longer term Unitarian Universalists into a deeper reflection of their lives and beliefs. In addition, they create a small circle with which to build community and participate in a larger congregational conversation.
How do the Soul Connections groups connect to the theme?
Each month, we have a set of materials developed around a particular theme; the materials include a reflection from one of the ministers, quotes, movies, books, a spiritual exercise, or a concrete way of experiencing the theme, and questions to ponder on that particular theme.
What is the format of Soul Connections groups?
The monthly meetings generally last two hours, and consist of the following elements: opening/chalice lighting, brief check-in, discussion of the spiritual exercise, discussion of “questions to wrestle with”, check out, and closing. Each group consists of 8-12 people.
Can anyone join a Soul Connections group?
Soul Connections groups are open to members of Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist congregation (UTUUC), as well as those who have completed Introduction to Unitarian Universalism and Pathways to Membership classes. In that way, all participants have, at minimum, some understanding of Unitarian Universalism and Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation, and will have reflected on their spiritual journey thus far. Soul Connections groups are appropriate for both newer and long time members of UTUUC. Leaders of each group are all members of UTUUC.
Do participants have to be physically present at meetings or can they be conferenced into the discussion?
Given the intimate intention and design of these particular listening groups, participants must be physically present at meetings. Group members will not be teleconferenced or video conferenced into a discussion.
How are Soul Connections groups formed?
You can fill out a Soul Connections participant registration form and return it to Rev. Emily Gage. The Soul Connections team will place participants in a group. Soul Connections groups begin in October and March and each meet for 12 months. We ask each participant to commit to showing up regularly and for the 12-month duration.
How can I become a Soul Connections group leader?
Fill out an application and return it to Rev. Emily Gage. Leaders are trained and meet monthly with Rev. Emily Gage or Rev. Alan Taylor and other leaders as well as meeting monthly with their own group. Soul Connections leaders are members of UTUUC.
What if I have more questions about Soul Connections or theme-based ministry?
You are welcome to contact Rev. Emily Gage at firstname.lastname@example.org or 708-848- 6225 X103.