Organ pipes in the Sanctuary of First Church in Cambridge. A wrought iron chandelier hangs in the foreground.

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Sign Up for Lent/Spring Faith & Life Groups

February 6, 2024

Registration is open for our next round of Faith & Life Groups, taking place during Lent and into the spring season. Led by First Church members, Faith & Life Groups are designed to encourage meaningful connections through shared interests, whether exploring a spiritual practice, opening our eyes to the beauty around us, delving into a challenging social issue, or attending to significant life stages (parenting, aging, job transitions, etc.). Faith & Life Groups involve making a short-term commitment (a single session to several weeks, depending on the group).

See full group descriptions below. Please register by Sunday, February 18.

Creating a Spiritual Autobiography

Day/Time TBD by the group, via Zoom
Leader: Stephen Opie

Spiritual autobiography is a sub-genre of memoir that traces the author’s spiritual journey. Whether you consider yourself a spiritual or religious person, these writings can provide a fascinating insight into people’s lives and how experiences—significantly, trauma—can shape beliefs. Moments you’ve lived, created, and represented combine to make your emotional and spiritual story. This is a workshop for those who want to use writing to reflect on the passages: childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. In a nurturing, non-judgmental environment, you’ll write through and into the deeper meanings of your life to create the first draft of your story.

This group began in the Fall of 2023 and is now looking for 2 new members in order to keep the intended number of 6.

Register here

MLK Book Study – Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?  

Tuesdays, February 20, 27 and March 12, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m., via Zoom
Leader: Ahmaad Edmund

Join Pastoral Associate Ahmaad Edmund for three power-packed nights examining the courage that Martin Luther King Jr. found in community over 50 years ago, and how it may encourage us to adopt it today. We will use Dr. King’s Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? as our guiding text. From the book description: “In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., isolated himself from the demands of the civil rights movement, rented a house in Jamaica with no telephone, and labored over his final manuscript. In this prophetic work, he lays out his thoughts, plans, and dreams for America’s future, including the need for better jobs, higher wages, decent housing, and quality education. With a universal message of hope that continues to resonate, King demanded an end to global suffering, asserting that humankind-for the first time-has the resources and technology to eradicate poverty.”

Register here

Reading Mary Oliver

Tuesdays, February 20 – March 19, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m., via Zoom
Leaders: Sue Reynolds and Alex Steinert-Evoy

In this Lenten gathering, words of scripture and the poetry of Mary Oliver will be our guides. Each week, biblical texts and Oliver’s poems will illuminate each other, providing grounds for rich discussion and pointing towards simple, powerful practices you can try yourself. During this Lenten journey, let’s lengthen the light and welcome the joy of God’s spring together!

Register here

Reparations Book Study – On Repentance and Repair: Making Amends in an Unapologetic World

Wednesdays, February 28 – March 27, 6:30 – 7:45 p.m., via Zoom
Leaders: Abby Shuman and Carla Arevalo

Danya Ruttenberg’s book On Repentance and Repair: Making Amends in an Unapologetic World provides a new lens on atonement, forgiveness and repair from harm—ranging from personal transgressions to our culture’s most painful and unresolved issues, including systemic racism and the legacy of enslavement, sexual violence and harassment, and Indigenous land rights. Rooted in traditional Jewish concepts and the work of medieval philosopher Maimonides, this text provides a powerful foundation for understanding the link between experiences of being harmed, the work of taking responsibility for harm caused, and the creation of a more loving and just world.

Register here

Nature as a Path to Connection

Day/Time TBD
Leader: Stefanie Haug, LICSW, certified Mindful Outdoor Guide

Join us as we go outdoors and connect with each other and our natural world. We’ll explore forest bathing which interweaves contemplative practices with nature lore. Together we can identify some themes (e.g. nature appreciation, change, stress reduction, etc) as well as locations in our Cambridge neighborhood (e.g. Mount Auburn Cemetery, Fresh Pond Reservation, Magazine Beach Audubon). Possible dates include Monday, Friday and/or Sunday afternoons. All ages, abilities, and interests are welcome as we explore (in the words of Mary Oliver) “…our place in the family of things,” with calmness, curiosity and care.

Register here

Now What?: Retirement’s Inner Work

Day/Time TBD by the group, via Zoom
Leader: Jenny Stuart

This concept of retirement raises both practical and spiritual questions. How do we live purposefully and intentionally into these next chapters of the final third of life? Where does our sense of meaning come from? It seems no one really loves the word Retirement. So what then is this realignment of priorities and self from both a practical and spiritual perspective? Where, what and who are our anchors? How do we spot the signposts that offer clarity? This group, open to all getting ready for retirement or who find themselves in this phase, will explore ways to let go of anxiety and grief, and find deeper meaning, hope, and peace, knowing that God is with us on the journey.

Register here