BRAIDING SWEETGRASS BOOK GROUP Braiding Sweetgrass is a moving work that weaves together ecology and indigenous knowledge to provide a model of what it might look like to live in this balance, an ecological balance that has been disrupted by colonization of the land. As a First Church group we will consider the imperative to restore right relationship with the earth and how this relationship is dependent on living out right relationships among humans.
FIRST CHURCH WOMEN’S READING GROUP Please join our FCC Women’s Reading Group as we discuss books grounded in faith and spiritual growth. Books of various genres (fiction, informational, poetry, etc.) will be selected, and we plan to meet every 4-6 weeks. The first two book discussions will be led by Alex Steinert-Evoy and Susan Reynolds; thereafter, participants will be invited to recommend books and moderate meetings. We will share titles of books as they are selected. Sign up to be part of our group, whether you plan to read all or only some of the books selected!
FEELING NEWER TO CONVERSATIONS ABOUT RACE? In the first two sessions, we will discuss some short chapters from the book So You Want to Talk About Race? by Ijeoma Oluo. In the third session, we will relate these questions to the racial justice work at First Church. Some of the questions we will explore include: Is it really about race (or is it also about class, ethnicity, or being an immigrant?) What if I talk about race wrong? What are micro-aggressions and how do I avoid them? Why has racial justice and anti-racism become a major focus at First Church? What are the church’s plans going forward? How can I learn more?
REPARATIONS ACCOUNTABILITY GROUP Join as we continue to explore a practice of reparations for our individual and communal lives. We’ll share experiences with reparations with to date motivations, promote interracial relationship-building as a precursor for reparations, foster accountability, and discuss the Biblical and theological bases for reparations. All are welcome to this drop-in, whether you are just starting to wonder about reparations or are already involved in an individual or collective practice. New members welcome!
RELATIONAL GOD: PROCESS/RELATIONAL THEOLOGY & ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR TODAY The ancient Hebrews of Genesis and Exodus understood God as relational. Jesus was all about relationships. But some types of Christian theology moved away from a relational view and toward God as non-temporal (eternal), unchanging (immutable), and unaffected by the world (impassible). Process/Relational Theology (PRT), with origins in the early 20th century, attempts to bring us back to a more relational and dynamic understanding of God. In these sessions, we will start with the basics of PRT, drawing on prominent 20th century theologians, then explore the implications of this theology for how we relate to God and all of creation. What does prayer look like from a PRT viewpoint? How does PRT suggest we approach the climate crisis? What does PRT say about racial justice? What can we say about miracles? Prepare to have your mind expanded as we put theology to work in this troubled modern world!
STAMPED: THE REMIX—INTERGENERATIONAL FORMATION ON RACE We will read and discuss this book, which authors Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi call a “remix” of Kendi’s original book, Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. This “remix” is for youth readers, but there is a lot in here to discuss and reflect upon for persons of any age! Jaz Buchanan and the 7th & 8th graders at FCC will be reading this book as well, as part of their Faith & Social Justice class, and the culmination of our gathering will be to meet together, youth and adults, to discuss the final section, an opportunity for true multi-generational study!
GENEALOGY: FINDING OUR FAMILY HISTORIES Interested in genealogy? Just starting on your family tree? Or have you been working on it for years? We can gain an understanding of our history through the lens of our own families. We’ll look at immigration, migration, race, religion and economics, and anything else that people are interested in exploring. The group will start out by gathering bi-weekly three times this fall, and then decide from there how and when people would like to connect as we explore our family stories.
DANCING WITH GOD IN BODY AND SPIRIT Before I found a home in Christianity, dance had always been my connection to all that is divine. Together we will explore how we can use movement and dance to rejuvenate our bodies, our souls and reground ourselves in the presence of God. If you like moving and grooving, off beat and/or on beat, swaying, reaching into the sky, this faith and life group is for you.