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Milestone sessions (M)
Milestone sessions mark the major milestones of a group.  The four sessions to start a group are used to build a common foundation of story.   The sessions introduce SGM and members will share some common stories. The intimacy and deepness of sharing increases as the sessions progress.  Ideally, the group should meet weekly for four weeks then assume its normal schedule. These four sessions are:

  • M01 - Getting to know you
  • M02 - Sharing Our History
  • M03 - Those Who have Touched Our Lives
  • M04 - Ministry, the Expression of Our Values

If a group adds a member, use these two sessions to integrate the member into the group. These two sessions are a condensed version of the first four sessions. If possible add an extra meeting the month the group adds new members.

  • M21 - New Member Introduction
  • M22 - New Member Values

When a member leaves a group, one of two situations arise. Either the group will have a chance to say goodbye in person or they won't. In either case the group has changed. Sessions M19 and M25 are short rituals that can be used in addition to the regular session for the day. Choose one of the following rituals as appropriate.

  • M19 Member Has Left (no longer present)
  • M25 Goodbye to Member

After a period of time, the group should reflect upon itself and its processes. The following session (full two hours) is part guided meditation, part sharing that will allow the group to look at itself in a constructive manner.

  • M11 Circle as Container

Groups are strengthened by creating a covenant.

  • M145 Creating a Small Group Ministry Covenant

When there is a change in leadership, this ritual is an add-on to the normal content of the day. It provides members of the group a way to honor the service of the leader who has stepped down.

  • M113 A Leader Steps Down

This birthing ritual is to be used as the last session of a group before it grows to become two groups (births) or changes dramatically.

  • M18 Birth or Metamorphosis

When a member of a group dies the group changes profoundly. The following ritual is a full two hour session to explore that change. This session is not a memorial service, that need will be fulfilled in the congregation as a whole.

  • M103 Death of a Member

Life Event Sessions (L)
These sessions allow members of a group to acknowledge the happenings in each other's lives. These are all short rituals, meant to be used in addition to the content of the day. By allowing an "all for one" time, each member is able to minister to the needy member yet move on to the content of the day. Take a look at the leader notes for each session to determine if it is the session you need. While many require the leader to prepare something, none require any preparation on the part of the members. Be sure to talk to the member involved before using one of these sessions.

  • L14 Serious Illness
  • L23 Pet Loss
  • L26 Major Problem with Child
  • L27 Child Leaving Home
  • L37 Birthdays
  • L51 Sad Occurrence
  • L52 Happy Occurrence
  • L80 Member is Overwhelmed
  • L84 When the Shooting Starts (used at the time war breaks out)
  • L94 Lindi Said Goodbye (used after the last service of a beloved senior minister)
  • L172 Remembering 9/11

Big Question Sessions (B)
These sessions are a series of sessions on "Big Questions". We were inspired by the theme used by the Arlington church. This is our take on that theme.

  • B119 What Does Religion Mean to Me?
  • B120 Who or What is in Charge?
  • B121 What Happens When We Die?
  • B122 What It Means to be Human
  • B123 What is Our Place in the Universe?

Seasonal Sessions (S)
Seasonal sessions are used at particular times of year or correlated with certain events..
  • S6 Gift of Change (Christmas) S30 Resurrection (Easter)
  • S69 Return of the Light (Winter Solstice)
  • S70 Our Work, Our Selves (Labor Day
  • S71 Day of the Dead (October 31)
  • S79 April Fools S82 Passover: A Tale of Liberation
  • S95 Path of Forgiveness (Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur)
  • S101 What if God Was One of Us? (Advent)
  • S106 Our Fathers (Father's Day)
  • S134 Freedom and Independence (Independence Day) S138 Holiday Moments (December Holidays)
  • S138 Holiday Moments
  • S139 At the Year's End (end of December. Could also work for Thanksgiving)
  • S142 After the Election. (2004 post election)
  • S148-Hotel Earth (Earth day)
  • S149-Sharing the Water of Life (Homecoming Sunday)

 General Sessions (G)
Most sessions are general sessions. As of November 2004 there are over 60 general sessions so they are not all listed here.  They sessions vary in focus. They may be introspective,  focused on our own congregations, or the world around us. Some are meditations, discussions, or but mostly just deep listening within a worship service.

This is a rapidly growing list.  The following is not comprehensive  Some notes on a few of the sessions:

  • G5 - Gratitude makes a good Thanksgiving session
  • G34 & G35 are meant to be used as a pair on two consecutive meetings.
  • G81 Failure should be followed by G77 Accomplishments


Theme Sessions (T)
Sessions that coordinate with the monthly themes for Sunday morning worship. Many of these sessions have been adapted from sessions developted by All Souls Unitarian in Tulsa, OK.

Copyright statement:

In the interest of promoting small group ministry, we invite — indeed encourage — you to use this copyrighted material in your congregation's program. Please respect the copyright by using it for this purpose only. It may not be published or used in any sort of profit-making manner.

Creative Commons License
Sessions are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License.

The body is a house of many windows: there we all sit, showing ourselves and crying on the passers-by to come and love us.

-Robert Louis Stevenson