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Session Catalogue

These sessions are cross-indexed, so one session may appear in more than one type or category.

The types of sessions are:

Milestone Sessions

Life Event Sessions

General Sessions

Seasonal Sessions

Small Group Milestone Sessions

Getting to Know you (M1)
Sharing Our Histories (M2)
Those Who have touched our lives (M3)
Ministry the expression of our values (M4)

These four sessions (M1 thru M4) are intended to be used together as the initial 4 sessions of a group just starting out together. The goals of M1-M4 are to introduce SGM and to share some common stories. The intimacy and deepness of sharing increases as the sessions progress. Ideally, the group meets weekly during M1-M4.

Add new member introduction (M21)
Add new member values (M22)

These 2 sessions should be used to introduce a new member to the group and vice versa. M21 & M22 should be used together. Preferably meeting weekly

Circle as Container (M11)

Group strengthener to be used 3-5 months after group start. This session has no preparation

Creating A Small Group Ministry Covenant (M145)

Use this session to work on creating a covenant for your group

Death of a Member (M103)

The focus is on each member's feelings about this loss, not a memorial service for the member who has died.

Group Birth or Metamorphosis (M18)

Acknowlege a major change in a group.

Individual Reflections on SGM (M74)

15 minute session to assess the need for change and birth of the group.

Leader Has Stepped Down (M113)

Use this session to acknowlege the contribution of a leader as she/he transitions to group member.

Member Left (M19)
Goodbye to member (M25)

Choose one of these sessions to acknowlege that a member is leaving or has left. Use M19 to acknowlege that a member has gone without a chance to say goodbye. If member is present use M25.

Celebrating Each Other (M056)

This session may be used to mark a group’s first year anniversary or other milestone. It would also work well around Valentine’s Day.

 

 

 

Life Event Sessions

Birthdays(L37)

Short ritual to acknowlege the birthday of a member.

Child leaving home (L27)

Short ritual to acknowlege that a child has left the home of a member.

Divorce (L216)

Short ritual to acknowlege the divorce in a member's family.

Happy Occurrence (L52)

Short ritual to celebrate the happy occurrence of a member

Lindi Said Goodbye (L94)

This short ritual acknowleges the feelings of our senior minister leaving.

Major problem with child (L26)

Short ritual rithal to acknowlege problems in the family of a member related to children.

Overwhelmed (L80)

Short ritual to comfort a member who is overwhelmed

Pet Loss (L23)

Short ritual to comfort a member whose pet has died

Sad Occurrence (L51)

To be used to acknowlege a sad occurrence in the life of a member

On Sept 11 (L173)

Observance of the anniversary of September 11.

Serious illness (L14)

To be used when a member of the group has a serious illness. Also can apply when someone in a members family has a serious illness.

When the Shooting Starts (L84)

Short ritual to acknowlege the tragedy of war

 

General Sessions

We have categorized by focus of the session. The categories are:

The Church Community

Guided Meditations

Inner-Directed

Interpersonal Focus

“Lighthearted” (especially suitable for summer)

Social Action

Special Events & Seasonal

Unitarian Universalism

Sessions that include “readings from the bowl,” are so labeled. “Readings from the bowl” are short quotations on one sheet that the group leader needs to print out and cut up in advance of the session. They are placed in a bowl and passed around the group with each member taking one at a time until the bowl is empty. Reading the quotations is done the same way; each member reads one quotation at a time around the circle.

Please note that all these sessions were first written for use by small groups in the First Unitarian Church of San José, so some may contain references to this particular congregation or community.

The Church Community

The Art of Giving (G88)

This session, to be used before the annual canvass, explores our attitudes toward giving and generosity.

Caring Community (G60)

In this session, you’ll take a look at what your congregation does--or doesn’t do--to build a caring community among many different types of people.

The Listening Ear (G137)

This session invites you to think about the power of listening and how it affects our lives.

Mission-Centered Church (G150)

This session focuses on the mission statement of the First Unitarian Church of San José.

The Need for Religious Community (G34)

This is the first part of two sessions (see G35 below) in which you are invited to reflect on the role of your church in your life, and your role in the life of the church.

Our Ministry in the Church Community (G35)

In this second part of a two-session series (G34), participants reflect on how they might give back to their church.

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow (G76)

This session was used a few months before a longtime, beloved minister was to leave the congregation. It could be adapted by other churches facing the same situation.

Powerful Beyond Measure (G176) PACT.

What motivates us to take action on issues that matter to us? How does our spirituality affect this?

Professional Ministry (G155)

This session offers an opportunity to reflect on ministry in general, and on the role of professional ministers.

Radical Hospitality (G126)

This session invites you to think about the ways in which your congregation extends hospitality to others--and the ways in which it is not hospitable.

Sorting Our Values (G109)

This session's preparation will help members understand their own tacitly held set of values, and in the session itself they will develop a set of group values. This session should follow G108, “What Makes a Community Work?”

On Becoming a Steward (G172)

This session explores the potential for joy in giving of our time and talents. Includes readings from the bowl.

Vision for the Future (G146)

After a guided meditation, members are invited to express their dreams for their religious community in the next five years.

What Makes a Community Work? (G108)

This session focuses on communities other than the church community. It should be followed by G109, “Sorting Our Values.”

Guided Meditations

Labels (G42)

We all carry with us many labels that tend to define who we are. This session begins with a guided meditation that enables participants to think about the labels they carry and how they feel about them.

Living in Your Body (G102)

The focus of this session is more about the experience of being in a body than it is about the body’s appearance. Includes a guided imagery, “Connecting With Your Body.”

Peace Ritual (G174)

In addition to a guided meditation, this session includes a Pagan peace ritual. It requires advance preparation by the leader.

Vision for the Future (G146)

After a guided meditation, members are invited to express their dreams for their religious community in the next five years.

Inner-Directed Sessions

Above and Beyond (G204)

Explore what it means to acheive the extraordinary and the the seemingly impossible.

Accepting Gifts (G24)

How can we receive gifts graciously and joyfully? In addition to exploring this topic verbally, members are invited to bring a “show-and-tell masterpiece” they have created beforehand.

Accomplishments (G77)

This session offers an opportunity to take stock of your accomplishments in life and think about your own idea of success. It should be used after session G81, “Failure.”

After the Catastrophe (G147)

There are times in life where an unforeseen event can remove some vital part of your life. While these things are traumatic, there is also an opportunity to reflect on what you lost and what new possibilities there are as you move forward.

Asking for Help (G201)

This session explores experiences and feelings around asking for help.

To Everything There is a Season -- Anticipation vs. Experience (S197)

This session explores anticipation and how it compares with actual experience.  Includes readings from the bowl.

The Art of Giving (G88).

This session explores our attitudes toward giving and generosity.

Balance (G98)

What is it that keeps your life in balance--or keeps your life out of balance? How can you achieve balance amid the rush of 21st-century life?

Big Rocks: Setting Your Priorities (G7)

Are you spending your time on the things that matter most to you? How can you change your life in ways to make this possible?

Books That Changed My Life (G55)

In this session, we will be recalling those books that have had a major impact in our lives. Includes readings from the bowl.

Checking Your Ethical Pulse (G180)

What is it that compels you to act when you encounter a moral or ethical situation?

Congruence of Belief and Action (G73)

In this session we explore how we put our own beliefs into action.

Chance, Karma, Destiny, and Grace (G107)

Why do things happen? Am I in control of my own destiny? If not, who or what is? This session explores your thoughts about the forces and beliefs that have shaped the course of your life.

Do We Pray? (G92)

Many Unitarian Universalists are uncomfortable with the idea of prayer. This session allows each member to explore his or her feelings about prayer.

Ethical Wills (G179)

Ethical wills are a way to share what is important to you--values, blessings, life lessons, hopes and dreams for the future, love, and forgiveness--with your family, friends and community.

Everyone Has a Mother (S191)

This is an opportunity to examine your own feelings about mothers.

Facing Fear (G193)

This session looks fear in the face. Includes readings from the bowl.

Failure (G81)

There are times where a failure is a huge boulder in the path of life and has a profound effect on you. This session examines the whole idea of personal failure, and is intended to precede G77, “Accomplishments.”

Finding Our Boundaries (G161)

How do you set and enforce personal boundaries, defined by author Pia Mellody as “invisible and symbolic ‘fences’ ”?

Food and Spirituality (153)

In preparation for this session, you’re invited to  try a food-related spiritual practice.

Forever Young (G97)

Explore what it means to you to be “young at heart” or “childlike.”

Freedom and Independence (S134)

Reflect on the spiritual qualities associated with the aspiration for freedom and independence that our nation was founded on.

A Gift of Change (S6)

Explore what it means to receive the gift of personal change.

Gratitude (G5)

Explore gratitude is a spiritual practice and a way of being in the world that goes beyond thank-you notes.. 

Great Turning (G202)

This session is based on a workshop, “Change the Story, Change the Future,” presented at the 2007 General Assembly by Bill Scarvie and the Rev. Kurt Kuhwald, a UU minister.

Heroes (G192)

Think about your own heroes--superheroes, fictional or real life.

Home (G195)

What makes a residence a home? What does “the home of your soul” mean to you?
Includes readings from the bowl.

How Much is Enough? (G93)

This session encourages you to come up with your own answers to some basic questions about how much is “enough” for you? And what don’t you need. Includes readings from the bowl.

Is it a Boy or a Girl? (G143)

This session focuses on gender identity.

Keeping Sabbath (G154)

A Sabbath is more than just eliminating work or other busy-ness; it’s about making space in your life for reflection

Keeping Up Appearances (G104)

This session will offer you a chance to examine your feelings about living in your particular body, whatever way it looks. It should be preceded by session G102, “Living in Your Body.”

Labels (G42)

We all carry with us many labels that tend to define who we are. This session begins with a guided meditation (adapted from “Labels,” by Alison Brown) that enables participants to think about the labels they carry and explore how they feel about them.

The Labyrinth (G75)

This focus of this session is walking a labyrinth. To find the labyrinth nearest you, see http://wwll.veriditas.labyrinthsociety.org/.  If there is no labyrinth in your area, you might consider using a finger labyrinth. One source is http://www.labyrinthcompany.com/

Learning By Heart (G117)

What’s the difference between memorizing and “learning by heart”? Members might want to learn a poem by heart before the meeting

Learning From Negative Emotions (G178)

Explore your own negative emotions and how you deal with them.

Life Goals (G156)

This session examines many aspects of setting life goals. Includes readings from the bowl.

Living in Your Body (G102)

The focus of this session is more about the experience of being in a body than it is about the body’s appearance. It should be followed by session G104, “Keeping Up Appearances.”

Living With Uncertainty (G111)

This session provides an opportunity to reflect on the uncertainties in your life, and to think about how you've dealt with them in the past and are dealing with them currently.

Mindfulness in Everyday Life (G200)

What would happen if we could suspend some of what we are thinking? Includes readings from the bowl.

The Mountain-top Experience (G20)

This session explores various aspects of “mountain-top experiences, and how we can let these experiences linger into our everyday lives.

Movies with Meaning (G144)

This is a chance to talk about one or more movies you have seen that has had a major impact on you.

New Beginnings (G221)

This session provides an opportunity to reflect on starting things, and recommitting to those things that are already a part of your life, to reflect on fresh starts.

Not a Genuine (G220)

This session was inspired by Brian Copeland book, Not a Genuine Black Man. The sessions explores our feelings about the "legitimacy" of our own and other's identities. Includes readings from the bowl.

Our Fathers (S106)

Explore the influence your father has had on your life and what you can learn from it.

Our Migration Stories (G199)

Reflect on your own families’ migrations and your own migration stories. How might your own life be different if your ancestors hadn’t made the choice they did to migrate?

Our Place in Nature (G31)

What feelings do you have about making personal efforts to live in harmony with the Earth and improve the environment? Groups are encouraged to find and participate in a one-time environmental project.

Our Relationship with the Earth (G187)

When do you most feel connected with the earth and its cycles? How has nature has consoled or strengthened you? How do you celebrate your place in the interdependent web?

Our Views of the Bible (G177)

Examine your feelings about the Bible in a UU context.

Our Work, Ourselves (S70)

We all work whether we are paid for it or not. Take some time to ponder your work.

Passage Meditation (G128)

To prepare for this session, members should try the form of meditation called "passage meditation" at least three times during the preceding two weeks.

Passion (G99)

Explore how emotions and overpowering feelings and convictions manifest themselves in your life.

The Path of Forgiveness (S95)

For many Jews, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are a time to closely examine the shortcomings in their lives and to develop ways to bring about changes in the coming year.

Planting Creativity (G57)

Explore what is it that you wish to bring into being and then plant these ideas where you’re likely to run across them occasionally. The preparation encourages trying this in advance of the session.

Play’s the Thing (G38)

Remember what playing meant to you as a child and how it helped you grow. And think about the role of play in your life now.

Pure Joy (G58)

This session explores the experience of joy. Includes readings from the bowl.

Response to Terror (G8) .

Written after 9/11, this session offers an opportunity for each group member to reflect on how the events of that day changed how he or she is feeling, thinking and living.

Resurrection (S30)

Ponder what should die in you that you might live.

The Romance of Travel (G166)

Talk about trips you’ve taken and those you hope to take. Includes readings from the bowl.

Science vs. Religion? (G175)

Think deeply about issues of critical thinking, faith, "intelligent design" and proof of theories.

Self-Care (G181)

Think about stress, filling your “cup” and pampering yourself.

Sit It Out or Dance? (G116)

This session examines risk-taking and courage and how much we’re influenced by others.

The Spaces In Between (G53)

This session focuses on finding spaces in between the events of life, to “do” nothing and just “be.” The preparation encourages participants to spend a significant amount of time doing this during the week before the session.

Spirit of Place (G96)

There are places which seem to have a spirit that can reach out and touch a spirit within us. This session helps participants to connect with these to gain insight and wholeness.

Spirituality of Housework (G87)

Can housework be more than necessary drudgery? This session may change some attitudes!

Stages of Faith (G33)

Some people theorize that a person’s faith develops in predictable stages in a way similar to cognitive development and moral development. The preparation for this session includes an unusual amount of printed material which is important to read beforehand.

Take Your Time (G54)

This session helps participants uncover their own personal "philosophy" of time. Includes readings from the bowl.

Taking a Stand (G41)

Taking a position on an issue that is not shared by the majority takes real courage. This session explores our feelings about doing this.

Those Who Have Touched Our Lives (M002)

You are invited to share about individuals who have touched your life in an important and positive way.

A Time of War (G85)

This session, written at the start of the second Gulf War, allows group members to express their feelings about war in general and this war in particular.

Unwise Purchases (G205)

This session is based around the poem by George Bilgere. It explores the ways in which our things define us. Includes a reading in a separate file. Has NO preparation.

What Does It Mean To Be Human? (B122)

Explore your own ideas being human from many different perspectives. This is the last of four “Big Question” sessions; the others are B120, B121 and B123. Includes readings from the bowl.

What Happens When We Die? (B121)

Explore your own ideas of what happens after death. This is one of four “Big Question” sessions; the others are B120, B122 and B123. Includes readings from the bowl.

What is Happiness? (G190)

Think about what makes you happy and if you can “fake it until you make it” with regard to happiness. Includes readings from the bowl.

What Is Our Place In The Universe? (B123)

Pondered this timeless question, and you may discover that the more "facts" science discovers about the universe, the more questions you have. This is one of four “Big Question” sessions; the others are B120, B121 and B122. Includes readings from the bowl.

What Is The Good Life? (G127)

Explore what has brought you genuine joy and what has brought you deep and lasting contentment.

Who or What Is In Charge? (B120)

This session examines the biggest question of all: Is there a God? This is the first of four “Big Question” sessions; the others are B121, B122 and B123. Includes readings from the bowl.

Wisdom, Courage, and Serenity (G141)

Think about the Serenity Prayer in relation to your own life, and especially your relationships with other people. Includes readings from the bowl.

Your Personal Mission Statement (G214)

Write your personal mission statement. Explore what it means to have a mission.

Interpersonal Focus

Accepting Gifts (G24)

How can we receive gifts graciously and joyfully? In addition to exploring this topic verbally, members are invited to bring a “show-and-tell masterpiece” they have created beforehand.

The Art of Giving (G88)

This is a session to be used before the annual all-member canvass.

Asking For Help (G201)

Explore how you feel about asking for help and various aspects of asking for help.

Friendship (G9)

What makes a friendship special? How do you maintain a friendship? What do the Unitarian Universalist Principles have to say about friendship?

Isms (G182)

Examine the isms--ageism, sexism, ableism, etc.--that influence your life.

The Listening Ear (G137)

This session invites you to think about the power of listening and how it affects our lives.

Ministry: The Expression of Our Values In Our Lives (M004)

Explore how values are expressed in our lives, and what impact they have on those around us.

Ministry of Hospitality (G152)

This session examines hospitality--in our homes, in our church, in our hearts.

Not a Genuine (G220)

This session was inspired by Brian Copeland book, Not a Genuine Black Man. The sessions explores our feelings about the "legitimacy" of our own and other's identities. Includes readings from the bowl.

The Need for Religious Community (G34)

This is the first part of two sessions (see G35 below) in which you are invited to reflect on the role of your church in your life, and your role in the life of the church.

Our Ministry in the Church Community (G35)

In this second part of a two-session series (See G34), participants think about their own lay ministry and how they might give back to the church.

Parenting & Mentoring: The Most Important Job of All (G17)

This session offers an opportunity to discuss parenting from a variety of perspectives. Participants are free to use the word "parent" for any adult who played a significant role in their life.

Person or Independent Web? (G10)

This session explores whether there’s a conflict in the UU Principles between the first and last Principles which frequently seem to be in tension with each other.

Presuming Innocence (G32)

.If we presume that people accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty, then why can’t we do this with our friends, family members and the people we meet on the street?

Radical Affirmation (G100)

Explore the practice of carefully listening for people's gifts, strengths and positive commitments and affirming them for these things. It’s important to spend time in advance of the session trying some exercises outlined in the preparation.

Sharing the Good News (G158)

Unitarian Universalists have mixed feelings about being evangelists for their faith. This session invites you to write an “Elevator Speech.”

The Stranger (G78)

In this session, we try to understand our responses to strangers and explore what we can do to transform our attitudes toward them.

Unsent Mail (G184)

During this session. group members write a letter to another person or to themselves. Then they will share how it felt to write the letter.

What If God Was One of Us? (S101)

The Advent session could be done at any time. It asks you to spend time looking at every person as if that person might be God.

What Makes a Community Work? (G108)

This session focuses on communities other than the church community. It should be followed by G109, “Sorting Our Values.”

“Lighthearted” Sessions (especially suitable for summer)

Animals in Our Lives (G189) 

This is a chance to talk about pets and other animals, including your concept of how humans should relate to animals. Includes readings from the bowl.

April Fools (S79)

As preparation for this session, you are asked to do something that is outside of normal--something that will probably make you feel uncomfortable.

Books That Changed My Life (G55)

In this session, we will be recalling those books that have had a major impact in our lives. Includes readings from the bowl.

Creative Idleness (G89)

This session explores taking extended periods of time just to sit back and relax, and to reacquaint ourselves with a non-busy mode of living and non-work forms of expression.

Flowers (G185)

This is a time to talk about your favorite flowers and to share stories or poems about flowers. Includes readings from the bowl.

Heroes (G192)

What do you think of first when presented with the term “hero”? Is it a “superhero”? Or does it provoke a bit of cynicism, as in the comment, “What heroes!?”?

It's Summertime! (S219)
Designed to be used in June, this session invites participants to reflect on their own summers, both past and present. Includes readings from the bowl.

Movies with Meaning (G144)

This is a chance to talk about one or more movies you have seen that has had a major impact on you.

Passage Meditation (G128)

To prepare for this session, members should try the form of meditation called "passage meditation" at least three times during the preceding two weeks.

Planting Creativity (G57)

Explore what is it that you wish to bring into being and then plant these ideas where you’re likely to run across them occasionally. The preparation encourages trying this in advance of the session.

Play’s the Thing (G38)

Remember what playing meant to you as a child and how it helped you grow. And think about the role of play in your life now.

The Romance of Travel (G166)

Talk about trips you’ve taken and those you hope to take. Includes readings from the bowl.

Seasonal Sessions & Special Events

After the Election 2008 (S215)

Explore feelings in the aftermath of the election.

April Fools (S79) April Fools’ Day.

As preparation for this session, you are asked to do something that is outside of normal--something that will probably make you feel uncomfortable.

A Gift of Change (S6) Christmas.

Explore what it means to receive the gift of personal change.

After the Election (S142)

This was used after the 2004 general election.

At the Year’s End (S139) December or New Year’s.

Rather than make New Year’s resolutions, try focusing on what was positive in your life during the past year.

Celebrating Each Other (M056) Valentines Day

This session may be used to mark a group’s first year anniversary or other milestone. It would also work well around Valentine’s Day.

Day of the Dead (S71) November1 and 2.

We take time to honor the dead, both those whom we have known personally, as well as the ancestors we may not have met, but whose lives influence ours in many ways.

Everyone Has a Mother (S191) Mother’s Day

This is an opportunity to examine your own feelings about mothers.

Freedom and Independence (S134) Fourth of July.

Reflect on the spiritual qualities associated with the aspiration for freedom and independence that our nation was founded on. Includes readings from the bowl.

Gratitude (G5) Thanksgiving.

Explore gratitude as a spiritual practice and a way of being in the world that goes beyond thank-you notes, and lists of things to be thankful for.

Holiday Moments (S138) Christmas.

Focus on your good holiday experiences in the past. Includes carols to print out.

"Hotel Earth" & the Threat of Global Warming (S148) Earth Day.

Examine your own thoughts and feelings about this important topic from a spiritual point of view. Includes readings from the bowl.

It's Summertime! (S219)
Designed to be used in June, this session invites participants to reflect on their own summers, both past and present. Includes readings from the bowl.

Ministry of Hospitality (G152) Thanksgiving and Christmas.

This session examines hospitality--in our homes, in our church, in our hearts.

Our Fathers (S106) Father’s Day.

Explore the influence your father has had on your life and what you can learn from it.

Our Migration Stories (G199) Day of the Dead.

Reflect on your own families’ migrations and your own migration stories. How might your own life be different if your ancestors hadn’t made the choice they did to migrate? Includes readings from the bowl.

Our Place in Nature (G31)  Earth Day.

What feelings do you have about making personal efforts to live in harmony with the Earth and improve the environment? What level of personal responsibility should individuals assume? Groups are encouraged to find and participate in a one-time environmental project.

Our Work, Ourselves (S70) Labor Day.

We all have work whether we are paid for it or not. Take some time to ponder your work.

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow (G76) Minister leaving.

This session was used a few months before a longtime, beloved minister was to leave the congregation. It could be adapted by other churches in the same situation.

Passover: A Tale of Liberation (S82)

This session helps us understand the relevance of the ancient festival of Passover today, and inspires us to use its lessons in our own ethical and spiritual lives.

The Path of Forgiveness (S95) Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

This is a chance to closely examine the shortcomings in your life and to develop ways to bring about changes in the coming year.

Response to Terror (G8) .After 9/11.

Written after 9/11, this session offers an opportunity for each group member to reflect on how the events of that day changed how he or she is feeling, thinking and living.

Sharing the Water of Life (S149)

This is a “mini” gathering of the waters, timed to occur near the annual Homecoming Service. It gives small groups a chance to share in depth about their summer journeys.

To Everything There is a Season -- Anticipation vs. Experience (S197) Advent.

This session explores anticipation and how it compares with actual experience.  Includes readings from the bowl.

Welcome the Return of the Light (S69). Solstice.

This ritual requires more-than-usual advance preparation by the leader.

Self-Care (G181) Before Christmas.

Think about stress, filling your “cup,” pampering yourself, and self-care activities.

What If God Was One of Us? (S101) Advent.

The preparation asks you to spend time looking at every person as if that person might be God.

Social Action

Congruence of Belief and Action (G73)

The second of our six Sources refers to “words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love.” In this session we explore how we put our own beliefs into action.

"Hotel Earth" & the Threat of Global Warming (S148)

Examine your own thoughts and feelings about this important topic from a spiritual point of view. Includes readings from the bowl.

Isms (G182)

Examine isms--ageism, sexism, ableism, etc.--and what part they play in your life.

Our Place in Nature (G31)

What feelings do you have about making personal efforts to live in harmony with the Earth and improve the environment? What level of personal responsibility should individuals assume? Groups are encouraged to find and participate in a one-time environmental project.

Powerful Beyond Measure (G176)

What motivates us to take action on issues that matter to us? How does our spirituality affect this?

Reclaiming Hope (G140)

This session focuses on work for social change that has improved our own lives and the lives of others. Includes readings from the bowl.

Wage Peace (G90)

Explore what you can do right now to promote peace in yourself and in the world?

Unitarian Universalism

Caring Community (G60) The third Principle.

UU congregations have the goal of embracing diversity and building community among all kinds of people. In this session, you’ll take a look at what your congregation does--or doesn’t do--to build a caring community among many different types of people.

Congruence of Belief and Action (G73) The second Source Tradition.

Unitarian Universalism is a faith of deeds not creeds. The second of our six Sources refers to “words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love.” In this session we explore how we put our own beliefs into action.

Do We Pray? (G92)

Many Unitarian Universalists are uncomfortable with the idea of prayer. This session allows each member to explore his or her feelings about prayer.

To Dwell Together in Peace (G209)

Affirmation session. See G206

Harmony with the Divine (G212)

Affirmation session. See G206

"Hotel Earth" & the Threat of Global Warming (S148) The Seventh Principle.

Examine your own thoughts and feelings about this important topic from a spiritual point of view. Includes readings from the bowl.

Is it a Boy or a Girl? (G143) Welcoming Congregation.

This session focuses on gender identity.

The Language of Reverence (G203)

There is a movement in our denomination to take back the language of reverence, to engage with "holy", "sacred", ... Explore your attitude towards these words.

Love is the Doctine of This Church (G206)

Sessions G206 through G212 focus on the lines of the affirmation we say each Sunday morning.

Love is the doctrine of this church, the quest of truth is its sacrament, and service is its prayer.
To dwell together in peace, to seek the truth in freedom, to serve humankind in fellowship,
To the end that all souls may grow into harmony with the divine.
This do we covenant with one another

Our Place in Nature (G31)  The Seventh Principle.

What feelings do you have about making personal efforts to live in harmony with the Earth and improve the environment? What level of personal responsibility should individuals assume? The preparation sheet includes a list of books and websites. Groups are encouraged to find and participate in a one-time environmental project.

Our Relationship with the Earth (G187) The Seventh Principle.

When do you most feel connected with the earth and its cycles? How has nature has consoled or strengthened you? How do you celebrate your place in the interdependent web?

Our Source Traditions (G188)

Examine your own feelings about Unitarian Universalism’s six Source Traditions.

Our Views of the Bible (G177)

Examine your feelings about the Bible in a UU context.

Person or Independent Web? (G10) The first and last Principles.

This session explores whether there’s a conflict in the UU Principles between the first and last Principles which frequently seem to be in tension with each other. These two Principles are: “the inherent worth and dignity of every person” and “respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.”

The Quest of Truth is its Sacrament (G207)

Affirmation session. See G206

Reconsidering the Principles and Sources (G198)

What do you value about the Unitarian Universalist Principles and Sources? Would you change them if you could?

Resurrection (S30) Easter.

Ponder what should die in you that you might live. What dead things are you keeping in the tomb of your heart that preclude you from making your heart the source of joy and friendship that it could be?

To Seek the Truth in Freedom (G210)

Affirmation session. See G206

To Serve Humankind in Fellowship (G211)

Affirmation session. See G206

Service is Our Prayer (G208)

Affirmation session. See G206

Sharing the Good News (G158)

Unitarian Universalists have mixed feelings about being evangelists for their faith. This session invites you to write an “Elevator Speech.”

The Stranger (G78) The First Principle.

In this session, we try to understand our responses to strangers and explore what we can do to transform our attitude from one of fear or apathy to one of peaceful acceptance.

UU Principles 1 and 7 (G59)

This is the first of four consecutive sessions examining the seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism. The approach is taken from an essay by the Rev. Frances Manley in the book Essex Conversations.

UU Principles 2 and 6 (G61)

This is the second of four consecutive sessions examining the seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism.

UU Principles 3 and 5 (G62)

This is the third of four consecutive sessions examining the seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism.

UU Principle 4 (G63)

This is the fourth of four consecutive sessions examining the seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism.

Where would you be without UU? (G194)

This session gives us the opportunity to express what brought us to and or keeps us with Unitarian Universalism.

If we want to support each other's inner lives, we must remember a simple truth: the human soul does not want to be fixed, it wants simply to be seen and heard. If we want to see and hear a person's soul, there is another truth we must remember: the soul is like a wild animal -- tough, resilient, and yet shy. When we go crashing through the woods shouting for it to come out so we can help it, the soul will stay in hiding. But if we are willing to sit quietly and wait for a while, the soul may show itself.

We need ground rules for dialogue that allow us to be present to another [person] in a quiet, receptive way that encourages the soul to come forth, a way that does not presume to know what is right for the other but allows the other's soul to find its own answers at its own level and pace.

-- "The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life", by Parker J. Palmer.