Current Faith and Life Groups are listed below. Registration is now closed but please stay tuned for our next round.
Supporting Our Lenten Changes
Have you made hopeful, prayerful plans to try a new habit in Lent? Perhaps you want to try to change your screen habits, or limit your intake of some food, or practice a Hello ministry. We often start off virtuously, but time passes and our determination tails off. In this group, we will begin by sharing our Lenten plans, and plan to keep a small record of our actions. In each subsequent week, we will share our successes and our failures. In a caring way we will try to figure out what worked, what didn’t, and encourage each other along the way. Group size will be limited to 8 so that we can all be comfortably on one zoom screen. If there is interest, a second group can form.
Facilitator: Hilary Hopkins
Dates and Times: Six Thursdays 10:00 am-11:30 am, beginning February 18
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 during Lent, continuing from our successful sessions in the fall. New members welcome! Times will be decided by the group interested in gathering.
Facilitator: Karen McArthur
Dates and Times: TBD by participant availability
Nerds Living Faith
Calling all First Church nerds: join us as we explore the theological and spiritual elements of our favorite sci-fi and fantasy media. Each week, we’ll watch or read something fun and fantastic, then discuss the spiritual elements of it. If you are interested in alien worlds, strange technologies, and wild possibilities, this is the faith and life group for you!
Facilitator: Taj Smith
Dates and Times: TBD by participant and facilitator availability
Podcast Discussion Group
“Listening to “Seeing White’ absolutely blew my mind and completely changed how I view myself, American history and the world around me” – review of “Seeing White.” Scene on Radio – Season 2, Seeing White
Listen, talk and learn about how the notion of whiteness was constructed and supported in America. By listening, on our own time, to one episode a week and then coming together once a month to discuss the podcast we can reflect together on how whiteness has impacted your life, your beliefs, your relationships with family, friends, your communities. For many white people we never really thought about these questions growing up and it may be only relatively recently that we have begun to understand how “whiteness” intersects with our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
Facilitator: Kerri Ratcliffe
Dates and Times: Monthly Conversations, Third Wednesday of every month Feb 17, March 17, Apri 21, May 20, 7:00 pm-8:00 pm (EST)
How to Raise an Anti-Racist Child
We will explore this topic in informal discussions based on short readings and short case studies based on our own experiences. Sign up if the topic interests you, then come whenever you can. No commitment needed! If there are enough people on a given night, we will have breakout groups, hopefully by age-group: 1) Five and under 2) Elementary School 3) Middle School. Peggy Stevens is a mother, grandmother, and middle school educator who has lots of experience in multi-racial, multicultural schools. She currently leads First Church’s efforts in the area of racial justice
Facilitator: Peggy Stevens
Dates and Times: Thursdays, 7:30pm-8:30 pm, February 25, March 4, March 11
Racial Justice and Healing: A Caucus for White Men
Join Dan Smith and Jim Cairns for 4 biweekly sessions of reflection on the particular impact that white supremacy and patriarchy has had on white men. Our work together will begin from the premise that white supremacy and patriarchy are physically, emotionally and spiritually detrimental to everyone, including white men. What self-awareness of our conditioning and shifts in our ways of being and doing might be helpful as we seek healing for ourselves and our communities. How can we become more engaged and caring racial and gender justice partners in our rapidly changing world? If you’re interested in joining, please email Dan or fill out the faith and life group registration form, and we’ll do a doodle poll to find a good time to gather.
Facilitators: Dan Smith and Jim Cairns
Dates and Times: TBD by participant availability, 1 hour every other week for four sessions.
Back to Basics Bible Study: Gospel of Luke and Acts
Are you looking for a judgment free environment to delve deeper into reading the Bible? Are you new to reading the Bible and are hoping to be a part of a community that helps you wrestle with your questions about Christianity’s sacred stories? Does reading the Bible feel like home to you but you are hoping to learn something new through a beginner’s eyes? Do you want to get back into the practice of reading scripture as a spiritual practice more regularly? This group is for you! We will be meeting once a week working our way through the Gospel of Luke and Acts at a pace set by those gathered. There will be a summary of the text for the week so little preparation is necessary to join. A spirit of curiosity and wondering will be encouraged. All are welcome!
Facilitator: Lexi Boudreaux
Dates and Times: TBD by participant availability, 1 hour weekly
Intro to Feminist Readings of the Bible
When it comes to speaking of theology we have become used to hearing and using different phases and terms as if we all know what they mean and how they are being used. One of these might be “Feminist Theology” or even “Feminist”. Of course, there are many theologies just as there are many feminisms, but if you are one of those people who would like to learn about what it means to speak of the two ideas together, please join us. We plan to dive into the idea that because God transcends gender and sex, feminists seek to consider a theology (a study of God) though the analysis of texts, ideas, belief systems, cultures, and so on, that support a search for a “humanly inclusive” theology. As a group we will ponder our own questions as we investigate these ideas and incredible always growing body of work called Feminist Theology. If you are interested in exploring the themes of the Women’s Community Advent Retreat further this two session faith and life group is for you!
Facilitators: Alex Steinert-Evoy and Lexi Boudreaux
Dates and Times: Two Sessions: Tuesday February 23rd & Tuesday March 2nd, 7-8pm
Contemplative Practices Group
Calling all contemplatives! For those of you who are interested in learning more about contemplative practice(s), Duncan Hollomon will be hosting a weekly drop-in gathering…. using zoom (what else?).
We’ll start with slowing down and centering, with some guidance about a specific practice that we’ll focus on for that day, taken from Buddhism, or contemplative Christian practice, or sufism. A poem, a reading, or perhaps a prayer will be offered. Emerging from the silence, we’ll share our experience with one another, practicing reflective, honest self-awareness. No commitment. Just show up. You can learn more about Duncan here: DuncanHollomon.com.
Facilitator: Duncan Hollomon
Dates and Times: TBD by participant availability, 1 hour weekly