Dear Members and Friends of First Parish:
We are now enrolling participants for our new Small Group Ministry groups. Many of you have already participated in the SGM program. We hope you will decide to re-enroll. We also hope many of our new members and friends will give it a try. It is an excellent way to become better acquainted with other people and with our church.
SGM is a network of small groups of 8-10, each led by a trained facilitator, that meet monthly for one year. SGM has a dual purpose, which has been described as Intimacy and Ultimacy - to strengthen the connections between group members, and to promote the spiritual growth of the participants.
Each meeting begins with a chalice lighting, followed by a general check-in. Then a topic for discussion is introduced. Each member in turn shares their own thoughts and feelings about the subject, without interruptions. After everyone has spoken, there is usually time for a more general discussion of the subject. Past topics have included Friendship, My Spiritual Beliefs, Living Simply, and Gratitude. In addition, each group covenants to perform a service project, either for the church or in the larger community.
There are a few guidelines. To achieve the purpose of SGM, it is especially important that members be able to commit to attend meetings regularly. Couples are urged to attend different groups. The groups are open, so new people may join during the year. Confidentiality regarding the discussions is urged.
During this past year our groups have been evolving their meeting approach based on what works for the group members. Some groups met in person, some virtually and some offered hybrid - with some folks in person and others virtually. We hope to return to in-person gatherings in accordance with FPC guidelines as long as all members of a group are comfortable. We would like to offer one or more always virtual-groups for those who are find it hard to get to the church (out-of-state, mobility or driving-challenged, or who continue to feel more vulnerable). If you are interested in an always-virtual group PLEASE check as many available times as you can so that we can have enough people available at the same time. If you would be interested in an on-going hybrid gathering, please let us know why that would be helpful.
New SGM groups organize in January, and start meeting in February, 2023. You can sign up by:
- Signing up online on this webpage. See form below.
- email Karen Kinnear at firstname.lastname@example.org
- return the registration form in US mail to Karen Kinnear, 62 Picnic St, Boxborough, MA 01719
If you sign up, you will be notified by your facilitator as to the time for your new group’s meeting. Please sign up by January 15, 2022. If you have any questions, contact Karen Kinnear, email@example.com .
The Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Landrum, Minister Karen Kinnear, SGM Coordinator
We are also hoping to train some new facilitators this year. If you are interested, please check the corresponding box at the bottom of the form.