CORE is a UUFM small group program offering an opportunity to:
- Get better acquainted with your neighbors
- Spend relaxed time with fellow UUs
- Affirm commonalities and celebrate differences
- Build and strengthen the connections that make fellowship possible
- Consider and discuss topics of religious/spiritual significance
What does “CORE” mean?
CORE stands for “Communities of Ongoing Religious Exploration” groups. They are called CORE because the word itself connotes the purpose of this program. Healthy, growing congregations have a core of deep and authentic connection among people.
What is the structure of these groups?
Groups have been formed based on geographic location or topics of interest. This offers the best chance of diversity in age, family status, belief system and life experience. Most groups will have about 10 members. During the formation of a group, interested individuals initially meet to discuss the logistics of the group: how often to meet, day and time to meet, where to meet, central contact person, etc. Once these details are decided, the group information is posted here where others can browse for groups they may be interested in, and reach out to the contact for more information.
Once you find a good fit, we ask that each person who is willing to participate make a real effort to make a home in their CORE group.
If you find existing CORE groups do not meet your needs, you are encouraged to discuss ideas with others in the fellowship. There may be others who live near you, or have a similar interest. We encourage the formation of new groups if someone will act as the initial organizer. We will offer training and support to these courageous volunteers, so that no one is left out there alone. The organizer will coordinate the time and place of the initial gathering and lead the discussion of the logistics. Contact the Vice President of the Board or the minister if you are ready to form a new group.
What happens in a CORE group?
The suggestion is that groups gather in someone’s home, with an understanding that the resident of that home isn’t responsible for “hosting” activities such as providing refreshments. For example, one group has decided to rotate homes each month. The homeowner may lead the discussion that month, or someone else may. Others bring snacks and beverages.
To start, we recommend a session of about 90 minutes, once a month. After a few meetings, you may collectively decide to meet more often. The UUA bookstore has resources that guide you through reflective sessions. It will be entirely up to each group whether or not to use these materials as written, with modifications, or not at all. The group may also choose a book to study, or to have a different group member lead a session each month related to a topic of interest.
CORE groups are a way to connect with others on a more personal level than can be done on Sunday mornings. Begin your journey by browsing the existing opportunities now!