There's More to Life Than Knitting!

Join Suna as she stops knitting long enough to ponder her life, share her joys and concerns, and comment on the goings on in the world.
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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Chalice Circles!

Continuing in my new theme of writing about something that brings me joy every day, let's talk about chalice circles. I am participating in two of these at the Unitarian Universalist church I attend. I facilitate the Tarot and Spirituality group and participate in the Project Linus group (if you have seen that big square afghan I made, it was for that group). A Chalice Circle is like a covenant group or small group ministry (see this link to another UU church's definition) in many churches. A consistent group of people meet monthly or weekly or whatever they like, and create community based on some common purpose.

Some of them deal with generic topics, like "personal growth," while others are very specific (such as the group I am in that makes quilts and afghans for a nice charity). The UU ones ask that you have a set program so that people are reminded they are in something like a small church service. In the Tarot and Spirituality Chalice Circle, we light a candle, have a reading, and do a check-in, plus whatever the theme of the meeting is. The Project Linus group is more informal and likes to get right down to quilting (or knitting in my case).

What brings me joy is how healing the tarot Chalice Circle has been, not just for me, but also for all the participants. As churches grow, they change, and some of us have been less than pleased with some of the changes in our worship services. We missed the sharing and community strengthening aspects mostly. It has been great to share with the members of our group, learn about ourselves, and enjoy the insights of others while we learn about tarot. It makes me so happy to facilitate a group that helps others (I have missed that part of being in the Dysfunctional Nonprofit Organization). And as a side benefit, we can feel like active participants in the church we love even if we don't attend services often or at all (note that we do have a couple of non-church participants--that's another advantage of Chalice Circles--you don't have to be a church member to participate).

In today's society, it is hard to make new friends, and even harder to become really close to others. Where I live, the people like me (politically and socially liberal, agnostic, pagan, sorta New-Agey) are quite scattered. It has been great to get to know better a group of people I know with whom I have many things in common. Of course, we have enough differences to make it interesting and facilitate learning! I am so grateful to everyone who takes the time to come to the meetings (they are held in our home--that's the preferred setting). These people keep me centered, help me feel like I am a part of something, and keep my urges to hide at bay.

I encourage any of you who read this to seek out ways to build a close-knit community and grow closer to other humans where you live. A knitting group, a book club, bird watching...whatever your interest is, you can find a group of people and get to know them. It may take a few tries, too. Not every group is automatically compatible or grows close. But when it works, a small group can keep you going when times get rough, and share your joys when things go well!

For more on Unitarian Universalism or to see if there are Chalice Circles where you live, check out the UUA website.

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