Sign Up for a Small Group Ministry Group! We are meeting on Zoom!
Small Group Ministry is intentional, lay-led small groups that deepen and expand the ministry of a congregation. SGM helps build community and provides opportunities for deeper relationships—intimacy—and opportunity for deeper spiritual exploration and search for meaning—ultimacy. They can be particularly helpful now when our lives are so different and so much more is unknown.

Embracing Possibility
October:  Cultivating Relationship
November:  Holding History
December:  Opening to Joy
January:  Living with Intention
February:  Widening the Circle
March:  Renewing Faith 
April: Awakening
May:  Nurturing Beauty
June:  Celebrating Blessings 
July: TBD

Accessing the Soul Matters Curriculum

You can see the edited (short version) of the each curriculum linked to the themes above. The Soul Matters Packets page has the full resources. It is under the Members tab (you need to be signed into the website) for the full packets. We encourage everyone to engage a spiritual exercise and a question each month, even if you are not in a group. To see the full length packets, please log into this website and go to Soul Matters Packets under Members or email

SGM groups generally have 8-12 people and meet once a month for an hour-and-a-half to two hours, though some groups are meeting more than once a month now that everyone is home. The meeting begins with a chalice lighting and opening words. There is a check in when people can spend a few minutes sharing highs and lows of the previous month or other details about their lives. This is followed by quotes for inspiration and a minute or so of meditation and contemplation. And then each member has an opportunity to share about that month’s topic and spiritual exercise, while the others listen “deeply.” This deep listening is what makes SGM special.

SGM is not a discussion group; it is more like a spiritual practice where we take time out of our busy lives to think deeply about a topic, share our thoughts with a trusted group and then listen deeply as others share. Together we find practical ways to live out spiritual principles in our lives.

Group members are asked to commit to the group for a year and each group is asked to do some sort of service together either for the church or the larger community (for example, a church work day, MLK Day, etc.) Everyone is welcome; you do not need to be a USG member to join a small group.

Sample Small Group Ministry Covenant

Join a Group Now!
The available groups are listed below. People are welcome to join any group that fits their demographic. Please contact Treva Burger and Jody Hill, at for more information or to sign up.

Small Groups with Openings: 

Adults, 2nd and 4th Sundays, 9-9:40am on Zoom, Mark Bangela is the leader, 4 openings.

Adults, 3rd Thursday, 7pm, Kent Matthies and Jody Hill co-facilitate. If it fills up a new group will be started at the same time.

Young Adults, Time and day TBD based on availability of those interested. Intern Minister Latifah Griffin-Rogers will facilitate this group. Please email the address or fill out this form if you are interested.

Focus on Racial Healing, 3rd Monday, 5pm, Treva Burger is the leader, 5 openings.

Please email Treva Burger and Jody Hill at if you are interested in joining any of these groups or would like more information. If there is not a group that will work for you, please tell us what you are looking for and we will attempt to accommodate you in the near future.

What Some USG Members Say About Small Group Ministries

  • “Small Group Ministry is, in my opinion, the heart of the church. There is no other place where I can have the opportunity to hear and be heard in such an intimate setting. The web of trust and support that has developed in the groups I have been a part of over the years have strengthened my heart and affirmed my faith in my fellow human beings. It is unlike anything else out there in our hustle and bustle world today. An island of peace in a storm of life.”
  • “I love SGM because it helps me to connect more deeply with other USG members and to explore my own faith, beliefs, joys and sorrows in a safe, supported environment.”
  • “I participate in SGM to connect with people with whom I may not get to know in my journey at USG, to strengthen my connection with others and to learn about what makes them tick which to me is both fascinating and enriching. I participate to feel connected and invested in the community at USG and to expand my spirit.
  • “I find it a wonderful opportunity to get to know a small group of people on a more intimate level. The subject matter is a starting point and the structure keeps everyone on task and keeps it from turning into a social gathering. It also gives voice to matters that are not necessarily discussed in other places or groups.”
  • “I have been a member of two groups and have led two groups in two different churches and I continue to be amazed at the power of this simple format to bring all different combinations of people into a very special shared experience.”
  • “The topics are meaningful, some of the readings are helpful, but what keeps me coming back every month is being in the safe, sacred community we have formed together, a place where I can go deeper, share my truth without fear of judgment or comment, and hold others in that same way…..”

2020-21 Themes
September: Renewal
October: Deep Listening
November: Healing
December: Stillness
January: Imagination
February: Beloved Community
March: Commitment
April: Becoming
May: Story

2019-20 Themes
September: Expectation
October: Belonging
November: Attention
December: Awe
January: Integrity
February: Resilience
March: Wisdom
April: Liberation
May: Thresholds
June: Compassion
July: Hope
August: Perseverance

The themes for 2018-2019 were:
September:  Vision  
October:  Sanctuary
November:  Memory
December:  Mystery
January:  Possibility
February:  Trust
March:  Journey
April:  Wholeness
May:  Curiosity
June:  Beauty
July: Resistance
August: Embodiment

The themes for 2017-18 were:
September: Building Beloved Community
October: Compassion
November: Service
December: Empowerment
January: Honoring Differences
March: Generosity
April: Spirit of Life
May: Busyness
June: Wonder
July: Humor
August: Harvest

The themes for 2016-17 were:
September: Deepening Connections
October: Memory
November: Blessings
December: Reverence
January: Hope
February: Resilience
March: Fear
April: Transformation
May: Wholeness
June: Radical Hospitality
July: Devotion
August: Mindfulness

The themes for 2015-16 were:
September: Home
October: Forgiveness
November: Gratitude
December: Celebration
January: Freedom
February: Courage
March: Story
April: Privilege
May: Curiosity
June: Pride
July: Creativity
August: Joy

The themes for 2014-15 were:
September:  Building Beloved Community
October: Compassion
November: Service
December: Empowerment
January: Honoring Differences
February: Humor
March: Leadership
April: Spirit of Life
May: Busyness
June: Wonder
July: Change
August: Harvest

The themes for 2013-14 were:
September:  Deepening Connections
October:  Doubt
November:  Tradition
December:  Innocence
January:  Beginning
February: Solitude
March: Generosity
April: Self-Esteem 
May:  Civility
June:  Source Beyond Ourselves
July:  Independence and Interdependence
August: Balance

The themes for 2012-13 were:
September: Atonement
October: Belonging
November: Prayer
December: Revelation
January: Mindfulness
February: God
March: Courage
April: Awakening
May: Creation
June: Sexuality
July: Vision
August: Vulnerability

The themes for 2011-12 were:
September: Forgiveness
October: Quest
November: Gratitude
December: Hope
January: Living Faith
February: Hospitality
March: Brokenness
April: Transformation
May: Justice
June: Transcendence
July: Joy
August: Memory

The themes for 2010-11 were:
September: Humility
October: Belonging
November: Blessings
December: Radical Hospitality
January: Trust
February: Discernment
March: Money
April: Who’s Keeping Score?
May: Strength
June: Play
July: My Musica Sacrae
August: Connectedness