Chalice Circles: Small Group Ministry
2023-24 Registration has closed.
There are still a few open spaces in this year's Chalice Circles. If you are interested in joining a circle, please contact email@example.com and we will be in touch to let you know what spaces are available!
The Chalice Circle program of the UU Church of Bloomington serves as a lay extension of the ministry of the church.
The program consists of groups of about 7-10 that usually meet once or twice a month on Zoom or in person, where members take turns speaking about some piece of their own personal story that relates to the given theme for the session, and the other members listen deeply. Each group uses an approved session plan to guide the personal sharing. Groups meet from September to May.
The program is run by an executive team that meets monthly and more frequently as needed to coordinate annual sign ups, assignment to groups, facilitator training, session plan approval and program evaluation. Group facilitators meet monthly to check in about their groups, discuss issues or problems that have arisen, and receive updates on program changes.
A minister serves as consultant to the executive team, participating in meetings of both the executive team and facilitator meetings.
Additional information about the UUCB Chalice Circle program can be found here.
August 2023, Chalice Circle Executive Team
Ways to support the church by volunteering, especially on Sunday mornings, or getting involved with committees that organize annual church events.
Volunteer as a Greeter to welcome people as they enter our building on Sunday mornings.
Flame Keepers play a vital role in our Sunday morning worship services - volunteer to maintain the Joys and Sorrows candles and assist the ministers as needed.
Join the team that makes coffee and tea available on Sunday mornings.
Groundskeepers are those intrepid volunteers that keep our church grounds looking clean and neat and healthy - planting, mulching, weeding, watering, collecting litter, etc. We provide tools and all are welcome!
Art Fair & Bazaar
Our annual Art Fair & Bazaar takes place in early December. If you're interested in helping to make it happen, this is the committee for you!
Goods & Services Auction
Join the planning committee for the annual Goods & Services Auction, a spring fundraiser for our church.
Join a Group
We have many active groups led by church members and friends that provide opportunities to gather, connect, build relationships, discuss, explore new things, and learn from each other.
Earth Kin is an eclectic group of folks who gather to practice pagan and Earth-centered spirituality.
At Fellowship Dinners, you share a potluck meal with a small group of friendly UUs in someone’s home. Once a year you host a group. Single or paired, you are welcome at Fellowship Dinners.
❖ When: October and November 2023, January through April 2024.
❖ What: You share a potluck meal with a small group of friendly UUs in someone’s home. Once a year you host a group. The perfect way to meet newcomers and old timers in small, convivial groups!
❖ How: The Fellowship Dinners coordinator sends a list of guests to the host, who contacts the guests, establishes a mutually agreed date for the meal, and prepares the main dish. The guests bring the rest of the dishes for the meal: appetizer, salad, vegetable, dessert, beverage, etc.
Be creative and carefree! The Fellowship Dinner can be a dinner, or it can be a breakfast, brunch, lunch, or picnic!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to be a gourmet cook?
You can join in Fellowship Dinners even if you bring a dish from the deli.
What if I am not part of a couple?
Single or paired, you are welcome at Fellowship Dinners.
What if my house and table are small?
Fellowship Dinners can be for as few as 4 guests. On your Registration Form note the number of guests you can accommodate. Some folks with small or distant homes might make arrangements to host in someone else’s (larger, closer) home – the coordinator can help match up with those of us who feel comfortable providing their home as a venue for those without a space to host the dinner. Anyone acting as a venue provider will then function as a guest. Finally, hosting is an enjoyable experience; however, you don’t have to host if you have limitations that cannot be overcome. Let the coordinator know that. When you are the host and are scheduling dinners, please remind couples that they should think of themselves as two units, not as a single unit when mapping out who will contribute what to the dinners.
Must I host?
Hosting UUs is an enjoyable experience; however, you don’t have to host if you have limitations that cannot be overcome. Let the coordinator know that.
Will I eat with the same people every month?
One of the great attractions of Fellowship Dinners is the chance to meet a different group of UUs every month.
What if I cannot participate every month?
When you register, mark the months you cannot participate.
How do I register?
Click here to sign up online! You can also pick up a paper form at the church and leave it in the office (Room 204).
May I still enroll later in the year?
Yes. Just send in the form as soon as you can.
Coordinator: Kathy Gilbert, firstname.lastname@example.org
Join the Gardeners' Gathering on the fourth Sunday of the month following the Sunday service, in the Courtyard (or in Room 112). Every type and level of gardener is welcome. We'll share experiences, stories, advice, and maybe plants from time to time.
This group hikes about once a month on moderate hikes of 2-6 miles near Bloomington.
Humanists and Freethinkers
The Humanist Forum and the Freethinkers meet on alternate Sundays at 11:40 am in person at the church in Room 208, with an option to join via Zoom.
The forum explores human growth and the transcendent without supernaturalism. Forum Presenters are selected by group vote and present for 10-15 minutes to kick off our discussions. They do not (usually) lead the discussion. Topics include issues relating to morality and ethics, human development, evolution, the nature of the universe, love, the capacities of the brain, free will, the latest scientific research and discoveries. Humanists, agnostics, atheists, freethinkers, religious naturalists, interested theists, and anyone who wishes to attend are welcome.
This group seeks conversations that foster an understanding of diverse views. We usually accommodate 2 or 3 topics per meeting. It is the idea, not the messenger, which is explored in discussion. The UU Freethinkers hope to learn how others form their opinions and to test these opinions with individual experiences and learning.
Jewish UU Connections
Jewish UU Connections is a group of people within our congregation who feel connected to Judaism, either culturally or religiously or both.
The UU Men's Group meets in our Library on the third Tuesday of every month at 7:00 p.m., with an option to join online via Zoom.
Online Book Club
This online book club reads books chosen by its members. Generally meets via Zoom on the first Monday of the month at 6:30 pm for about an hour.
JOIN THE GROUP to access the Zoom link and to get reminder emails about upcoming discussions!
December 4, 2023 at 6:30 pm
How Far the Light Reaches: A Life in Ten Sea Creatures by Sabrina Imbler
A queer, mixed race writer working in a largely white, male field, science and conservation journalist Sabrina Imbler has always been drawn to the mystery of life in the sea, and particularly to creatures living in hostile or remote environments. Each essay in their debut collection profiles one such creature. ... Imbler discovers that some of the most radical models of family, community, and care can be found in the sea, from gelatinous chains that are both individual organisms and colonies of clones to deep-sea crabs that have no need for the sun, nourished instead by the chemicals and heat throbbing from the core of the Earth. Exploring themes of adaptation, survival, sexuality, and care, and weaving the wonders of marine biology with stories of their own family, relationships, and coming of age, How Far the Light Reaches is a book that invites us to envision wilder, grander, and more abundant possibilities for the way we live. - Goodreads.com
January 8, 2024 at 6:30 pm
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (2014)
February 5, 2024 at 6:30pm
Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization by Neil deGrasse Tyson
February 5, 2024 at 6:30 pm
The Persuaders: At the Front Lines of the Fight for Hearts, Minds, and Democracy by Anand Girdharadas
April 1, 2024 at 6:30 pm
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
May 6, 2024 at 6:30 pm
Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
June 3, 2024 6:30 pm
The House of Doors by Tan Twan EngShow More Show Less
July/August — discuss September 2024
The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese (author of Cutting for Stone)
Previous books have included:
The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 by Margaret MacMillan
Infinite Country by Patricia Engel
South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation by Imani Perry
Foster by Claire Keegan
Horse by Geraldine Brooks
Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth StroutShow More Show Less
And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle by Jon Meacham
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us by Ed Yong
Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law by Mary Roach
The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times by Jane Goodall
Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story by Nikole Hannah-Jones
Caste: The Origin of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan
The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity by David Graeber and David Wengrow
Educated by Tara Westover
Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
Search by Michelle Huneven
Uncanny Valley by Anna Weiner
Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder
The Long Loneliness: The Autobiography of the Legendary Catholic Social Activist by Dorothy Day
Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner
- Upcoming Reads:
Parents of Young Children
This is a group for families with young children to connect for gatherings, play dates, mutual aid and support. Also advocates and organizes for family-friendly, kid-friendly spaces and practices within the church.
Poetry on First Mondays
For people who love poetry of all kinds. This group meets via Zoom on the first Monday of the month at 10 am to read and discuss poems together.
This group meets Mondays from 12-1 p.m. in the Library, with an option to join online on Zoom.
Tai Chi (Taiji) and Qigong
Brian Flaherty leads Tai Chi and Qigong practice here at our church Saturdays 9 to 10:30 a.m. and Mondays 2:15 to 3 p.m.
The practices are free of charge. Usually in Fellowship Hall, occasionally moved to the Library. Please wear comfortable clothes and shoes. All are welcome.
An informal group that gets together semi-regularly on Wednesday mornings, usually around 9 or 10 am, to go for walks together at different locations around town.
Encourages companionship, conversation, church and community outreach. Brown bag lunches with guest speakers are held the first Thursday of the month at 11:30 a.m. in Fellowship Hall. All are welcome—men, women, and gender non-binary.
Thursday, December 7, 2023
11:30 am – 1 pm
Hosted by Sharon Wiseman and Michele McCaffrey
Join us in Fellowship Hall or virtually by Zoom to celebrate the holidays!
Tea, scones and finger sandwiches will be provided, but feel free to bring scones or holiday treats to share. There will be entertainment as well.
All are welcome! An email reminder will be sent out prior to the meeting. Join this group if you wish to be added to the email list.
Upcoming in 2024
Earon Davis will talk about his new book on anti-Semitism.
February 1 and March 7
James Madison will talk about his recent book on the KKK.
The Women’s Alliance was founded in 1959 to manage the annual church Bazaar, build fellowship, and give service and financial support to the church and selected church and community projects, as voted upon by the membership.
The group is open to everyone, and meets the first Thursday of the month at 11:30 am in Fellowship Hall or via Zoom. In-person meetings begin with a brown bag lunch, and beverages and desserts are provided unless otherwise noted. The program starts at noon – with a presentation about a community organization or other interesting topic. This is followed by a brief discussion of Women’s Alliance business. Meetings end at 1 pm.
Annual membership dues are $25, which, along with funds raised from the Gourmet Galaxy during the Bazaar, enable the Alliance to provide year-end holiday gifts to church staff; provide contributions to each program presenter from a registered 501(c)(3) organization; and give support to other important projects and activities.
A group for those roughly between the ages of 18-35 seeking to connect more deeply with each other; currently gathers for a monthly lunch and discussion.
- Earth Kin
Find or Offer Support
The Pastoral Care Associates Team, working with the Lead Minister, extends the pastoral care of the church in a ministry of one-to-one presence and support to those who are experiencing illness, loss, isolation, or life changes.
The Pastoral Care Associates Team can be reached via email: email@example.com
Our Caring Committee provides occasional rides to medical appointments, meals during severe illness or recovery, and visitors to those who have difficulty attending services.
4th Trimester Team
Our 4th Trimester Team offers support to families with new babies. No experience needed, just presence and compassion. If you can make a text or a phone call, you can be helpful.
- Pastoral Care
Become a Member
Membership is open to those 14 years and older who support our vision statement:
SEEKING THE SPIRIT, BUILDING COMMUNITY, CHANGING THE WORLD
We ask for participation in our Exploring UUCB class prior to signing the membership book.
We ask members to:
– make a pledge of financial support, as you are able
– attend congregational meetings twice annually
– participate in activities that are meaningful to you
– be of service to the church
For more information about membership, contact our Connections Coordinator, Anabel Watson, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stewardship includes all the ways we care for our congregation. Financial gifts as well as gifts of your time, energy, passion, talent, and effort are our love and commitment made visible. All aspects of stewardship can be as much about continually nurturing a spirit of generosity as they are about obligation and responsibility. We celebrate our responsibility in using these gifts well to support Unitarian Universalism here in our congregation and in our community.
Visit our Donate page for details on ways to give financially.
Make a Pledge to Support Our Congregation!
Church members are asked to pledge a donation of money to the operational budget of the church every year. This pledge should be of an amount that you can afford and which feels right to you. You do not need to be a member of the congregation to make a financial pledge. Everyone is welcome to participate and support the work of our congregation.
Our operating budget is the way that the congregation is able to cover all our operating costs, including minister and staff salaries, building and grounds upkeep and maintenance, programming, and social justice work beyond our walls.
Pledging at Any Time of Year
We generally have an annual pledge drive for the upcoming fiscal year each spring; our fiscal year goes from July 1 through June 30. If you would like to make a pledge commitment at any other time of year, please contact the church office at email@example.com. We are happy to help!
How to Fulfill your Pledge Commitment
After you’ve made your pledge, you can fulfill it at any time during the year, in whatever way works best for you. You can make one payment, or installments, i.e. quarterly, monthly, weekly. You can set up an autopay from your checking account or a credit card. See our DONATE page for details.
If you prefer to donate via paper checks, to make record keeping easy on our end, please note on the memo line of your paper check that it is a pledge payment, along with the fiscal year it’s going towards (i.e. “Pledge 22-23” or “current year pledge”). If you mail your pledge donation check, please send it to our P. O. Box: UU Church, PO Box 8132, Bloomington IN 47407. Thank you!
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington is flourishing today because visionary early members nurtured it, both in their lifetimes and through bequests in their estate plans. What will be your legacy to our community?
Our Special Purposes Fund
The Special Purposes Fund (SPF) supports the Church’s religious, charitable, educational and civic purposes beyond activities under the normal operating budget, via management of both endowment and general funds. It accepts both direct donations and donations from estates through Planned Giving.
Current members of the Special Purposes Fund Committee are Andrew Appel, Ruth Aydt, and Ed Long. The church’s Treasurer and one other Board member also serve on the committee.
Contributions to SPF may be made through
- Direct Donations
- Planned Giving
Contact the Special Purposes Fund Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.