Phone: (225) 926.2291 8470 Goodwood Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70806
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Branches Covenant Groups: UCBR Small Group Ministry
On April 5th and 6th the church is hosting Susan Hollister who will present a Branches Enrichment Weekend. All present branches leaders and members who are interested in enriching their experience of the program are welcome. Susan is a board member of the UU Small Group Ministry and co edits SGM journal. We will meet from 6:30 to 9:00 PM Friday evening the 5th of April and Saturday from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. A continental breakfast and lunch will be served on Saturday. Several years ago, Kristie and I were able to attend a Branches Retreat with Susan. We had both been leaders for some time and couldn’t imagine what more we could possibly learn, but Susan taught us that the program is so much more than we knew, and that Branches enriches the individual, the group, the congregation, and the world. We came home with a new fire and perspective. Do yourself a favor. Don’t miss this unique opportunity! Please signup at the table in the breezeway on Sunday mornings or call the church office to register.
Ray Boudreaux, Branches Co-coordinator
The Small Group Ministry program of the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge is called Branches.
A Branches group provides a structure within which participants minister to each other. The subject matter of the group is the participants' lives. Intimacy and Ultimacy are the goals. Group members listen to each other, but do not attempt to solve each other's problems. These are not therapy or encounter groups. The groups are part of a religious community , the Church. Most groups usher about one month per year. Some groups choose to take on other service projects for the church or the larger community.
There are currently 24 Branches groups, with over 250 participants, including 44 Branches leaders. The program began in 1999.
Anyone who is a graduate of the Unitarian Church Roots orientation class or is a member of the church may join a Branches group. To request to join a group, call the church office, 926-2291 or email Ray or Kristie Boudreaux firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com .
Basic Structure of a Branches Meeting
Branches groups have approximately 8 to 12 members and are led by lay people. Usually, there are two co-leaders. They meet monthly in private homes. Members may invite the group to meet in their home, or not. Meetings last two hours, including the refreshment period.
- Opening Reading
- Check in - Members share something of personal significance. It is OK to pass.
- Discussion Topics include Love, Forgiveness, Gratitude, Mentors, Prayer, etc.
- Likes and Wishes
- Closing Reading
Expectations of a Branches Participant
- To commit to a year of participation
- To give attendance at Branches meetings a high priority
- To commit to listening to other group members.
- To help write a covenant for the group or to participate in a review of the groups existing covenant, if the new member is joining an ongoing group.
- To give church attendance a high priority.