You are warmly invited to sign up for a Fall Faith & Life Group!
Led by First Church members, Faith & Life Groups are designed to encourage meaningful connections through shared interests, and they involve making a short-term commitment (a single session to several weeks, depending on the group) to something that might be delightful, deep, or even transformational.
Fall 2022 Faith & Life Group Descriptions
Parenting Faithfully, Today and Tomorrow
Parenting was never an easy job, and then we experienced a pandemic that turned everything upside-down. As we continue to live with the effects of Covid on our lives, families are experiencing stress from many directions, old and new. Join Sarah for a time of reflection and support. We’ll share our struggles and our strategies, while grounding ourselves in the deep well of our faith tradition and a wide range of parenting resources. The group may continue on a monthly basis for ongoing support.
Day/Time: Wednesday evenings, time TBD, October 12, 19, and 26, via Zoom
Leader: Sarah Higginbotham
Encouragement/Support Group for Children of Aging Parents
This is a group for anyone who has a parent or other close relative who is aging and would like to gather in community and share resources and support. We can explore topics from understanding changes in family roles to balancing needs of both parents and children to general support/encouragement, depending on the will of the group. The spacing of these five sessions will be determined by group preference.
Day/Time: 5 Thursdays, 7:30-8:30 p.m., via Zoom
Leader: Rev. Beth Spaulding
Nature and Environment
Even though it appears that the green world is shutting down, dying even, at this time of year, still the green blade will rise from the buried seed! In this four-session Faith and Life group, we will explore the wondrous world of dirt and fruits and seeds and seemingly-dead twigs. We will have a few short walks near the church, explore plant materials and use simple microscopes, and read inspiring and hopeful words about hidden life.
Day/Time: Thursdays, October 4, 11, 18, 25, time TBD, in person at First Church
Leader: Hilary Hopkins
(Can also meet instead on the last two October Thursdays + first two November Thursdays.)
Family-Friendly Astronomy Nights
Join Adam Weiss for an outdoor all ages activity under the night sky. We will be using a telescope to look at constellations, Jupiter, and Saturn, along with other cool things like binary stars and star clusters. Location and date/times to be determined by those who sign up.
Day/Time: one or two Friday or Saturday nights in October
Leader: Adam Weiss
Faithfully (& Queerfully) Reading Scripture
ONA conversations continue! As we continue to lean into God’s radical welcome as a faith community, Jaz welcomes you to join her for a time of reading, theological wondering, and personal faith reflection. Together, we will read Shannon T. L. Kearn’s latest book, In the Margins: A Transgender Man’s Journey with Scripture. Shay beautifully and powerfully weaves stories from his life into reflections on well-known biblical narratives. We will gather in hybrid fashion to share tea and heartfelt conversations.
Day/Time: Wednesdays, November 2, 16, 30, and December 14, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m., at FCC and via Zoom
Leader: Jaz Buchanan
Encountering Faith and the Bible Anew
This group is especially for new members (within the past 2 years) or folks already among us who are looking to find a new or different connection with the concepts of faith and scripture. Are you looking to explore your relationship with your faith, the Bible and/or the church? If the Bible isn’t a science book or an instruction manual, then what is it? What do people mean when they say the Bible is inspired? If you are looking to explore new ways to think about faith and our scripture and tradition in a supportive community of care please join us in reading the book: Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again By Rachel Held Evans.
Day/Time: Tuesdays, November 1, 8, 15, and 29, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., via Zoom
Leader: Lexi Boudreaux
Metaphors for God
Drawing on select chapters from God Is Here: Reimaging the Divine by Toba Spitzer, we will
explore five metaphors for God from Hebrew scripture: water, place, rock, fire, and becoming.
Each week we will focus on one metaphor, share in a spiritual practice building on the
metaphor, and make connections to justice issues we feel called to as Christians.
Day/Time: Tuesdays, Sep 27, October 4, 11, 18, 25, and November 1, 7:30-8:30 p.m., via Zoom
Leader: Mary Matha Thiel
Justice and Faith in the World
Prophetic Voices of the 20th Century
In this group, we will view via Zoom five documentary films on five 20th century “prophetic voices” — Howard Thurman, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Dorothy Day, and Reinhold Niebuhr. These films, previously broadcast on Public Television, are each approximately one hour, then we will have a half-hour of discussion about what we learned and what significance each has for our lives today. No advance preparation will be required! It’s likely that lots of First Church folks have heard of one or two of these prophets but perhaps not all five. Each has had a significant effect on religious and social thought and practice.
Day/Time: Wednesday evenings, October 12 – November 9, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m., via Zoom
Leader: Paul Sawyer
1619 Project Discussion Group
We will be reading together A New Origin Story, the latest book of essays, poetry, and fiction from The New York Times’ 1619 Project, created by Nikole Hannah-Jones. This will be a collaborative group where each participant will share in discussion leadership and preparing discussion questions for 1 week.
Day/Time: Wednesday evenings, October 19 – November 30 (omitting Nov 23), 7:00 – 8:00 p.m., via Zoom
Co-Leaders: Peggy Stevens and Mary Robinson