I have spoken before about the great affection I have for Chalice Circles. At my home congregation, we called them “covenant groups” – a small group that met regularly to go deep with big questions. In the process, I made friendships that endure to this day. Rev. Bob Hill, who literally wrote the book on covenant groups, has referred to small groups such as Chalice Circles as a “conversion experience.” What he meant is that you can’t really understand what a Chalice Circle is until you’ve experienced one. And most times, you’re then converted to how great they are – and you want to tell everyone about them! That’s certainly my situation. Not only did I make great friendships, but I will testify that the experience saved me. When I was at a point where I was really wrestling with some deep issues, my small group gave me the space to do that struggling in safe and nurturing environment. Seminary professor and UU theologian Thandeka writes: “So if someone tells you that she or he knows pain, loneliness, loss, fear, and dismay, but does not know the feeling of being sustained by a love that is wider, deeper, and infinitely vaster than the sorrows, hear those words as a commission.

Hear your commission to love, to create community, and to heal. One at a time in personal relationships, ten at a time in covenant groups, hundreds at a time in our congregations, hundreds of thousands at a time in our religious movement, millions at a time as we take our commission deeper and deeper into humanity’s heart as a justice-loving people who will transform the world. This is the good news of our faith.” (Thandeka, “Healing Community” UU World 01.01.05)

Good news – it’s not too late to sign up to participate in the next set of Chalice Circles! These will focus on our sermon series theme, “Embrace Joy.” You can register this Sunday on the sign up sheets in the narthex (outside the sanctuary), or online: louure.ch2v.com/ Click on the tab marked “Volunteer” and go the “Chalice Circle Sign Up” to pick a group to join.