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Listening Circles

List of Current Listening Circles:                

AHA Listening Circle--Open to new members!  
Meets the 3rd Sunday of the month at 11:45am in the Merritt Lounge.   In this Listening Circle we will deepen our understanding of our personal Atheist, Humanist, and Agnostic values through readings, listening and discussion which will help to enhance the Unitarian Universalist experience for those who attend. Babysitting provided upon request. Please contact

What is a Listening Circle?

A small group of individuals – friends, visitors, or members of UU who listen and discuss various topics. Both the topics and format of discussion are designed to encourage active listening, which strengthens and deepens relationships.

What Can Listening Circles Do For Me and Our Community?

A listening circle develops and enhances relationships of participants, builds trust, strengthens listening skills, and develops a safe space for everyone. These skills and relationships will improve all First UU activities, as we grow and connect with one another.

What Kind of Topics Will We Discuss?

Both challenging and fun topics are explored. Currently we have prepared these topics: play, living simply, justice, forgiveness, expectations, endings, confronting evil, aloneness, and addictions. 

We Want You!

We would like to grow and learn with you in small groups. We hope this will bring together people who may not normally interact with one another, and we hope to strengthen our community.

What Does a Meeting Look Like?

A clear format is used for listening circles to ensure everyone is heard. We read several quotes on a single topic, followed by a short period of contemplation, and then discuss the quotes in three rounds.


  • Round 1: Each member shares impressions without response.

  • Round 2: Discussion. Follow up on ideas expressed, question, and expand.

  • Round 3: Final thoughts shared by each individual. Did your viewpoint change from the conversation?

What Do You Expect of Me if I Join?

We ask that you be committed to attending and let the facilitator know if you cannot. We ask participants to listen and share deeply, be aware how much time they are taking to share, welcome new members, avoid cross talk, avoid judging, avoid giving feedback, avoid “fixing” people, and keep stories shared confidential.

What if I Want to Facilitate One Meeting or More?

Great! The set format for listening circles makes guiding easy. Facilitators do as much or as little as they would like and have the opportunity to receive a vast amount of support. Minimally, just bring the topic of the day. Before your first meeting, you will receive a quick 5-10 minute one-on-one orientation, a manual with suggestions and topics, become a part of an on-line facilitator’s community, and have the option of attending a group training meeting.

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