Demystifying Men’s Groups
Men’s Support Groups are part of the Adult Spiritual Growth programs. Most men’s support groups at UUCV have been practicing principles of spiritual growth since their inception – some well over a decade ago. These principals include incorporating ritual and structure into meetings – while remaining flexible, aligning discussion with the monthly theme, and striving for spiritual maturity.
Individual men’s groups exist within the same umbrella but are autonomous. The affairs of one group do not affect others and there is no centralized management.
There are at present five small groups and the Men’s Fifth Tuesday Potluck. The small groups meet twice a month, usually on a mid-week evening from 7 – 9pm. The Fifth Tuesday Potluck occurs anytime a month has five Tuesdays. Two groups are uncommitted and use the church as their meeting place: Group 3 and the Fifth Tuesday Potluck. The other small groups meet at private homes.
In uncommitted groups men are free to attend as they see fit, a kind of open door drop-in policy. ALL men are invited to participate in the drop-in group and Fifth Tuesday Potlucks. Uncommitted groups serve as the gateway to join UUCV committed men’s groups. (Before joining a committed group men are encouraged to attend the drop-in group and a Fifth Tuesday Potluck to gain perspective.)
The remaining four small groups (Groups 1, 2, 4, and 5) are committed groups, each defining “committed” differently. It may be defined as renewing an individual’s commitment every six months and making attendance at meetings a high priority. It can also define how new members are inducted and what is expected when someone leaves the group.
Spiritual growth is a focus of the men’s groups, along with fellowship and support. Men are encouraged to share their personal experience and speak from the heart. To do this one must be Dedicated, Vulnerable, and Patient. This requires a significant level of trust in the group—and in one’s self. The goal of UUCV men’s support groups is to make a safe space available in the congregation for men to feel a deeper connection to others.
Those wishing to covenant with a committed men’s group should attend a 5th Tuesday Potluck and come to uncommitted Group III (see church calendar for details).