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Small Groups, Big Connection

By Wendy Weiss, Programs and Membership Coordinator

How does a congregation continue to feel like they belong to each other, especially in these times? I’ve been sitting with this question in a virtual void. Most of my work time happens alone now, in an empty building. I miss the spontaneous conversations that catch us up on how things are going for each other and generate ideas for our shared congregational life. I’m so glad we still have our Sunday coffee hour via Zoom to fill in the gap a bit.

While we stay connected, Westside would like to nurture our belonging to each other even more. I have been in conversation with Rev. Carol and other Westside leaders about how we can best do this. Westsiders are great at keeping in contact with each other, in caring for each other, whether we meet in the building or not. So we thought to help create a structure around that to be sure that everyone has a small group to belong to.

In the next few weeks you’ll receive more information and a brief questionnaire to help you form or find a small group. Chances are you’re already doing that in some way. So we’ll extend that so everyone who wants to be is involved in a smaller social group and getting to interact regularly with other Westsiders. Continuing to build relationships in our congregation is a value we still hold dear.

Through these smaller groups, we can also strengthen our being together as a larger group. When we connect in small ways, communication and sharing naturally ripple out through and to the larger community. The potential for these smaller groups to overlap in Adult RE classes, online events and forums, and in individual exchanges weaves a web that holds us all together.

We may be in trying and challenging times, but we are in it together. What an opportunity to strengthen our ties and continue to grow together. We are so fortunate to have each other, so let’s be sure we’re living our values and expressing that every chance we get!

Questions? Great ideas to share? Wanting to find ways to be involved? Contact Wendy at 865.226.9191 or

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