As the summer winds down and autumn begins, registration opens for another year of Wisdom Circles at First Church! These small groups, made up of around twelve people each, meet monthly to connect with one another and discuss readings and curriculum designed around the church theme of the month.
Wisdom Circles meet from fall through late spring, and take a break for the summer. Some people choose to remain in the same Wisdom Circle year after year, while others change groups each year in order to meet and get to know new people. Either way, the deep sharing that happens within the Wisdom Circle format allows participants to cultivate long-lasting friendships and a sense of community.
Since First UU is such a large congregation, many people find it important to connect within small groups in order to form the connections that can be harder to make during Social Hour or at a larger church event.
Below are a few testimonials from Wisdom Circle participants who wanted to share a bit about their experiences:
“I have been part of a Wisdom Circle, with its many different names, for at least 15 years - pretty much when they were started. I've even co-led one for a couple of years with Nathan I find these groups to be inspiring - encouraging me to think, and ponder the questions presented in the monthly hand-out. Usually, there's a theme that we follow, and enlarge on. Always - it is an interesting process. The quotes that accompany these writings, have become something I look forward to, and I've collected many of them for my own use.
Meeting once a month, is something I treasure, and the folk who are part of my Wisdom Circle are becoming good friends. This I like, and I feel the others do, too. We have a mutual bond, and enjoy recognizing each other in our various other meetings. We learn from each other, and have a better understanding of each other's lives. We also find our mutual preferences with certain of the group and can relate in a different manner.
I find my Wisdom Circle is a necessary part of my being, something to honor, and enjoy, and discuss with other people in other Wisdom Circles!” - Caroline Clark
"For me, Wisdom Circles have been a very rewarding experience. I was a facilitator for several years beginning with our first facilitator training. This occurred during the interim before we called Arvid. I led circles for about 10 years, until Bob’s health issues interrupted some of my church activities. I was able to continue as a participant and have always found each circle to be very supportive, friendly and offering the chance to meet people I didn’t know before. I think the Wisdom Circles are an excellent way for members of the church to form new friendships, voice their views on important topics in a non-judgmental setting, and welcome newcomers to our church to UU principles.
Although the original idea was for circles to disband and reform with changing participants every year, this plan has not worked out in our situation. A large widely scattered congregation has made it more relevant for us to find the circle that meets at a time and place convenient for each participant. So circles of the same participants tend to stay together, with occasional additions and departures. However, I haven’t found this to be in any way distracting to the original purpose of Wisdom Circles, at least as practiced at First UU.
I highly recommend joining a Wisdom Circle as an excellent way for new members to make friends in a little more intimate way than Social Hour on Sunday morning ( if they find that venue a little intimidating), and for more settled members to enjoy an experience of focused conversation and even enlightenment. " - Betsy Stevens
If you are interested in registering for a Wisdom Circle, please visit the Wisdom Circle page to learn more.
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