Group Formation at Chalice Policy
Originally adopted, Board of Trustees, c. 2008 Revision approved, Board of Trustees, January 2014
Affiliated Groups in Chalice Congregation
Chalice encourages the formation of new groups that support the mission statement and covenant; that help our Members and Friends deepen their relationship with the Congregation. The purpose of this document is to provide basic advice and guidance for the successful formation of new groups affiliated with Chalice.
The Coordinating Team may recognize as “Affiliated Groups,” any groups whose activities and practices are consistent with those of the Congregation. Any three (3) or more Members may petition the Coordinating Team to establish such an Affiliated Group. These organizations are responsible to the Coordinating Team, which has the authority to revoke affiliation of any group that no longer fits the above guidelines.
Definition of an Affiliated Group:
An Affiliated Group is a small group of Members, Friends, and others who are interested in a more intimate relationship as the church grows. Affiliated groups must support Chalice’s Mission Statement and its Covenant, which abide by the 7 Principles as set forth by the UUA. The group will ideally be open to all interested Members and Friends of the Congregation. However, some interest and support groups might have compelling reasons to be gender-specific. The Coordinating Team must affirm all new Groups according to the guidelines listed below.
Process for Starting a New Group:
The Coordinating Team wishes to consult with any group or individual who is proposing a new group to be affiliated with Chalice. The only strict guidelines for new group formation, as stated above, are that the group supports Chalice’s Mission statement and Covenant, and is open to all Members and Friends (except for those designated as gender-specific). Following are a list of questions the Coordinating Team requests potential groups explore and answer in order to be considered as an affiliated group with Chalice.
- Who is the main contact person for the group? (provide contact information)
- What is the purpose of the group? (see “Types of Groups,” below)
- If the group wishes to be gender-specific, what are the reasons?
- How many members are currently interested?
- Who will be the group’s facilitator (if different from the contact person)? Do he/she/they have the requisite skills to lead the group? If not, how will they receive this training?
- Where and how often will the group meet? Confirmation of Chalice space availability needs to be confirmed with the Administrator.
- How and how often will you recruit new members?
- How will the group be advertised? Please note that the group must pay all its own expenses. Any publicity should be specific to the group and its purposes, and not imply that it is representative of the entire Congregation. Publicity materials need to be submitted to the Coordinating Team for approval before being distributed.
Responses to these questions should be submitted to the Coordinating Team via email or the Coordinating Team mailbox at Chalice. After receiving the responses, the Coordinating Team will determine if the proposed group is viable, meets the criteria for affiliation with Chalice, and has the essentials to be successful and be a positive factor in congregational life.
The Team will meet with facilitators periodically as needed. If the number of groups grows and coordination and monitoring becomes more difficult, meetings may be scheduled regularly for support of facilitators and additional training if needed.
Types of Groups:
In the initial stages of creating a new group it is often helpful to identify the primary purpose of that group. Chalice supports four types of affiliated groups:
- Covenant groups
Are those groups whose primary purpose (note below) is spiritual and personal growth; these may include support groups. (E.g., Couples support group; Zen meditation) These groups usually should consist of 4 – 10 people.
- Shared interest groups
Are those groups whose primary purpose is to engage in a specific social or recreational activity. (E.g., Rock climbing group)
- Study groups
Are those groups whose primary purpose is to study in a specific area and usually gather for a limited time. (E.g., Book discussion group)
- Gender-specific groups
Are those groups that, by virtue of their interest or concern, feel the need to be gender-specific. (E.g., Men’s support group, Widow’s group)
Note: The term “primary purpose” is used because all groups will be relational but use different paths to connect more closely with others in a safe setting.