Today’s small group ministry session based on resources from Topic: Connections

There Are No Backwaters

Chalice/Candle Lighting

Opening words:

I tell them there are no backwaters. There is only one river, and we are all in it. Wave your arms, and the ripples will eventually reach me. 
— Scott Russell Sanders in Writing from the Center



A Teaching Story from The Busy Soul: Ten-Minute Spiritual Workouts Drawn from Jewish Tradition by Rabbi Terry Bookman

Rabbi Terry Bookman presents daily meditations based on the Jewish calendar cycle. Here’s one about seeing how our actions affect the lives of others:

“A man in a boat began to bore a hole under his seat. When his fellow passengers asked him what he was doing, he answered: What do you care? Am I not boring under my own seat?” — Leviticus Rabbah

We have practically been weaned on the credo, “So long as what I do is not hurting anyone else . . .” But we have come to see that there is no such thing as an isolated, atomistic self. The American image of the cowboy riding off by himself into the sunset may work fine in the movies, but it is not real. All of us are connected, one to the other. And our actions inevitably affect other people as well. Many of us are so focused on ourselves that we don’t even realize the impact we have on those around us, especially those we love.

Questions: “What holes have you been boring in your life, thinking, ‘It’s only my seat’? Are you willing to take a look at how they are affecting the lives of others, especially the ones you love?”

Check-out/Likes and Wishes

Closing Words:

I cannot exist without in some sense taking part in you, in the child I once was, in the breeze stirring the down on my arm, in the child starving far away, in the flashing round of the spiral nebula. 
— Catherine Keller quoted in Lighting a Candle by Molly Young Brown

To Practice This Thought: Abstain from your fix of individualism one day at a time.

Group Session Plan based on resources on Connections from

For a PDF version of this small group ministry session, click here: Connections.

For more information on small group ministry, visit the UU Small Group Ministry Network.