Chalice Circles FAQ
Why Join a Chalice Circle?
The Chalice Circle experience will give you the opportunity to:
- Explore topics that don’t often get discussed in daily conversation
- Participate in a supportive group that facilitates spiritual growth and mutual caring
- Discover what you really value through authentic sharing, deep listening, quiet reflecting, and giving and receiving
- Develop friendships with interesting people you might otherwise never get to know
What Makes Chalice Circles Different?
The social conventions of modern life rarely leave room for adults to talk seriously about the most important issues in their lives. Chalice Circles provide a space for reflecting and sharing thoughts on some of life’s big questions, addressing topics such as: setting priorities, learning courage, living out values, accepting forgiveness, relearning play, learning from adversity or failure, exploring and examining personal beliefs.
A Chalice Circle is unlike any other group experience. It’s not a discussion or support group, book group or brainstorming session – though it shares elements of all. It is a spiritual practice whose main elements are authentic sharing and deep listening. While one member speaks, other members listen attentively in silence — a group meditation based on shared life experiences.
How Do I Join a Chalice Circle?
You can get notified about upcoming Chalice Circles by joining our mailing list or asking us to contact you when a new round of Chalice Circles is starting. Once new circles are advertised (typically in January), you can sign up online or look for sign up sheets in the foyer on Sunday mornings.
What’s the Format of a Chalice Circle Session?
SIZE: Chalice Circles, consisting of 8 to 10 people, are large enough to encompass a diversity of perspectives and small enough to allow intimacy and equal participation. Discussions will be gently facilitatedÂ so everyone who wants to share can be heard and a few voices won’t always dominate.
FOCUS: The focus of each meeting is a topic or activity that serves as a springboard into reflection on deeper issues of who we are and what gives our lives meaning.
FORMAT: Each Chalice Circle gathering is structured to help us set aside daily distractions and make connections with one another. The simple format includes:
- Opening Words & Lighting of the Chalice
- Sharing thoughts and feelings on the week’s topic
- More informal “cross-talk” and check-out
- Closing Words & Extinguishing the Chalice
Will there be homework?
No homework! The evening’s discussion will start with a short opening reading that will help frame the topic of conversation. No advance reading or other activities will be required before you arrive for each session.
Will there by time to socialize?
Yes. Each Chalice Circle will include a check-in to see what is on each person’s mind that week and end with a check-out. After each person has had a chance to comment at least once on the topic being discussed, there will be time for more give and take and personal sharing on a variety of subjects. Some participants may choose to stay for a short while to socialize after the closing reading as well.