C-Groups

Co-Coordinators:  Bill Welch and Elisabeth Chitouras

What is a C Group?
The “C” stands for connection, commitment, and community.

A C Group is 6-10 people who agree to meet regularly to build close relationships through the sharing of personal joys and sorrows and their own experiences related to selected topics.  C Groups provide an opportunity to reflect on their lives, and what they’ve learned, and to grow to spiritual wholeness through learning from, caring about, and being cared about by others.  C Groups are a ministry of sharing, listening, and loving one another.

Why do people join C Groups?
Some people join a C Group when they are new to the congregation as a way of meeting others on a close, personal basis. Some join because they enjoy the process of getting to know others and exploring stimulating topics at a deeper level than can be accomplished at the Sunday Social Hour after the service. Those who have been in the congregation a long time may join C Groups to meet people new to the congregation “up close and personal.”

How does a C Group work?
First, and most important, members covenant with each other to attend  each meeting, bring both their needs and perspectives to the group, listen with acceptance, compassion and openness, and honor the privacy of others.

The leader(s) plan the first and last meetings of the group. For all other meetings, members rotate in selecting the topic and bringing treats. Complete session plans for about 50 topics are available to select from. Topics include:

Dealing with Loss                                            Hope
Work and Its Meaning                                     Forgiveness
Risk                                                                Gratitude
Change                                                           Feeling Alone
Starting Over                                                   Humor

What does a meeting look like?
Meetings are two hours long. They begin and end on time. The sequence of events follows:

A member lights the chalice and reads the opening quote.
Each member shares what is going on in his or her life, while everyone else                         remains quiet.
Members who wish to follow up with a previous speaker may do so.
Members reflect and discuss the topic chosen for this session
Members tell what they liked about the meeting and what they wished it could have
been
A member extinguishes the chalice and reads the closing quote.

When and where do C Groups meet?  How long do they last?
C Groups meet at the convenience of the members, typically on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evenings — or on Sunday afternoon or evening.
Members may choose to meet at members’ homes or at the UUFRC Fellowship. Or a combination of the two.
C Groups usually last six months, with two meetings per month; variations may occur as determined by the group and with the consent of the coordinator(s).

How does a new C Group get started?
When the C Group Coordinator(s) becomes aware — usually through the Welcoming Coordinator — that individuals want to join a C Group, and when announcements are made at the end of the Sunday service, in the Order of Service and/or in the Newsletter (Redwood Reachout) that a C Group is being formed, and anyone interested in signing up or learning more may contact the coordinator(s). The coordinator(s) then contact the individuals who have expressed an interest. When five or more interested individuals are identified, a new group is formed. It meets on a day and at a time and frequency convenient for all members. The coordinator(s) designates a trained leader to lead the group, i.e., start and end the meetings, facilitate the conversation, ensure that everyone has an opportunity to speak, etc.

Can I join a C Group when there are not enough others to form a new group?
In the Unitarian Universalist tradition, there is always an empty chair when any group meets. A newcomer is welcome to join an existing C Group, with prior notification of the group leader.

C-Groups do not replace Sunday morning worship services or the larger congregation. Rather, the two complement one another. In a C-Group we experience deepening connections and spiritual growth and on Sunday morning we celebrate with the whole community and feel and know ourselves to be a part of something larger.

How can I contact UUFRC’s C Group Coordinators?
Contact the Office, (get Office's email address), 650.365.6913