“The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself.”

Anais Nin

Spiritual Deepening describes the process of moving fully into the richness of our experiences – our daily lives, our sorrows, our joys, and everything from the mundane to the sacred. And what better way to do this than in community.

In these tumultuous times, we need community more than ever. We need the spaces in which we can show up with our imperfect offerings to gather in common purpose.

Small Groups provide that space. A space to connect, a space to engage, and a space to deepen.

What are Small Groups?

A Small Group is a gathering of 6-12 people connecting, engaging, and deepening in their spiritual journey. During COVID times, these groups are meeting in virtual space. If some groups wish to meet in person on the grounds or in their homes, the River Road COVID response team has some guidelines here.

What kinds of Small Groups are there?

There are two types of Small Groups: General and Affinity Based. Both types of groups share the common core of spiritual deepening and can operate in similar ways. 

General groups provide a space for people with a range of identities to connect and deepen.

While Small Groups are primarily about deepening and connecting around our spiritual growth, sometimes it helps to be in a safe and affirming space with people who share our identities. There are many possibilities for Affinity Based groups. Some possibilities include:

  • Gender
  • Families
  • Age Based
  • Spiritual Practice
  • Educators
  • People of Color

If you have an idea for an Affinity group, please indicate on the Small Group Interest form or contact Rev. Amanda Weatherspoon.

How does it work?

After completing the Small Group Interest Form you will either be contacted for more information (upon request) or you will be placed in a Small Group. Groups:

  • typically meet monthly for 60 – 90 minutes.
  • typically share facilitation and leadership. Often, groups will rotate facilitators from gathering to gathering or will have co-facilitators from within the group.
  • are encouraged to follow our Monthly Worship Theme during their Small Group.
  • can use resources from Soul Matters, our partner in Spiritual Deepening.
  • can also design their own group focus for gatherings.

What’s the commitment?

When you join a small group you are committing to your own spiritual deepening as well as to the small community you are creating within that group. Some River Road small groups have been meeting for decades, while some are brand new – either way, it’s the commitment from each group member that creates the space in which we all grow and thrive. Newly formed small groups are expected to meet at least through the end of the congregational year in May.

If for some reason a small group placement doesn’t work out, you can contact Rev. Amanda for assistance in replacement or other options.

What are the Resources ?

Congregational staff and experienced Small Group leaders provide you with training, meeting templates, a database of thousands of meeting session plans and Soul Matters, a collection of resources arranged by monthly spiritual themes, that deepen and strengthen your small group. These copyrighted monthly packets are available for RRUUC Facilitators/Conveners.

Who can join?

All congregants – members, friends, and newcomers – can join a group.


Complete the Small Group Interest Form or contact Rev. Amanda Weatherspoon for more information.