This statement expresses the difference we hope to make through the Chalice Circle program using the UUAA Board "Ends Statements" as an organizing framework. Section numbers refer to that, which you can find here.
1.1 Spiritual life
1.1.1 Chalice Circles actively support members, friends and visitors of this congregation in their journeys toward spiritual growth and self-knowledge. They provide small groups in which individuals can share and reflect on their own experiences, and benefit from hearing the experiences of others.
1.1.2. People find Chalice Circles to be important worshipful experiences in which they share the power of collective spiritual experience and have opportunities for personal transformation.
1.2 Social Justice and Environmental Action
The Chalice Circle curriculum developed for each program year includes at least one topic that encourages the development of participants' social justice consciousness.
1.2.3 Chalice Circles develop people's skills at listening, understanding and speaking their truth in a group united by a mutually created covenant. All of these skills contribute to the development of peace and justice in the wider community.
Chalice Circles create and foster community by providing an intentionally welcoming and safe environment where all feel valued and cared for. Participants are given the opportunity to form meaningful connections with one another. We foster a climate of purposeful inclusion of all regardless of gender, age, race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, financial means, education, or political perspective. We live together in peace, search for truth in love, and help one another.
1.3.2 While we have not yet publicized the Chalice Circle program outside the congregation, we do actively welcome and include visitors. Chalice Circles are one of the strongest mechanisms for incorporating new entrants into the community of the congregation. They thereby promote and make Unitarian Universalism available to those who request it.
1.4.1 The Chalice Circle program supports wise stewardship through its recruiting, training, and support of leaders during their period of service.
We require that Chalice Circle facilitators be members of the congregation (though exceptions are currently granted). This requirement promotes the importance of membership and the increased emotional and moral commitment members have made to the values and practices of the UUAA community.
We make good use of our facilitators' time by providing a well thought out, well presented training that prepares them to succeed in their work. Training and experience in the Chalice Circle program also equips lay leaders for effective service in other areas of congregational life.
We provide ongoing practical support and community for our facilitators through monthly meetings patterned after the Chalice Circle meetings as well as one-on-one conversations with the program co-chairs and/or supporting minister. The Chalice Circle program deepens people's sense of connection and commitment to the congregation and Unitarian Universalism through service projects and volunteer appreciation.
Each Chalice Circle performs a service project that enhances the well being of the wider congregational community. With gratitude, we appreciate the Chalice Circle for their service project work and model mutual appreciation of all contributions to the good of the congregation.
We regularly and formally appreciate our facilitators and other leaders. We support their spiritual development, the development of their skills for use elsewhere, and their ability to express appreciation of others. This recognition also extends to the overall program.
Active Continual Program Evaluation
We consistently and frequently seek feedback from program leaders and participants. This insures that the Chalice Circle program is responsive to the needs of the congregation. We have identified the need to seek program feedback from people not participating in the program.
In their design and functioning, Chalice Circles embody the core principles and values of this congregation and Unitarian Universalism.
The core truth of Chalice Circles is that we learn and grow from our differences. The curriculum always intentionally includes at least one session overtly focused on one of the UU Principles or Sources. Through this we express the value we place on our connections-past, present and future, to the Unitarian Universalist world network.