Grow the Soul Classes
The Sunday Morning Book Discussion Group continues! Continuing with the book we began last fall, "Imagine What America Could Be In The 21st Century", edited by Marianne Williamson, the group is always open to new participants. The group will make reading choices from the 26 remaining chapters/authors represented in this rich collection of original thinkers. The essays range in subject from religion to race relations, from family to identity, from education to the environment to the economy. The group will be self-organizing, inviting a personal response, imagining along with the authors. This out-of-print book can be found on Amazon.com. A printed excerpt will be available at the first meeting. This group is facilitated by Jean Bahle.
(Registration Required - $20.00 donation is appreciated)
Friday Morning Poetry Group
Reading and discussion of American and International Poets in a small group setting, open and welcoming to all. We read poetry rather than write it, although some have been known to do it quite well! This group is facilitated by Louisa Nally. Fridays, 10:00 a.m.
Exploring Beliefs and Questions
An on-going group-directed open discussion of beliefs and questions. Free expression of ideas is encouraged. If you are finding your place at FSC, this is a small group where you can meet some of the humanists and freethinkers of the congregation. Exploring Beliefs and Questions is our oldest continuous morning group, meeting each Sunday of the regular Church Year. Come and become part of the tradition! This group is facilitated by Sherron Collins and Richard Russell. Sundays, 9:45 a.m.
Rediscovering Christianity Book Discussion Group
Newcomers always welcome! This group explores the Christian paradigm and the Emergent Christian movement. It is a community of individuals who have been hurt by a traditional Christian upbringing and are finding healing through this group. We are doubters who enjoy engaging in exploration and analysis of Christianity through various tools, including book discussion and group processing. This group is facilitated by Amber Fox and Mark Walstrom. Sundays, 11:00 a.m. The last gathering will be May 19.
Open Grief Support Group
This group is an open group, which offers support on a variety of topics and is facilitated by Kathleen Ribbens. Starting 9/5, every other Wednesday, 6:15 p.m.
Writing the Winds of Change
Writing can help us access our own deep wisdom and find our inner compass, which is especially useful during times of transition. Join Nessa McCasey for support and encouragement as you travel through difficulty into transformation. "I wheeled with the stars; my heart broke loose on the wind." ~ Pablo Neruda ~ 1st Thursday of each month, 10:00 a.m.
If you haven't yet given yourself permission to write, are a writer who is experiencing writer's block, or if you would benefit from companionship on your journey of personal growth, come along as we awaken the writer and storyteller in each of us. All skill levels are welcome, from beginning to proficient. During the monthly sessions, group members listen to and discuss selected poetry, prose, or stories, learn poetic forms and writing techniques, and write from intriguing prompts. More discussion follows when group members volunteer to share their written responses. Because we do not critique, an atmosphere of support and acceptance prevails. This group is facilitated by Nessa McCasey. 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month, 7:00 p.m.
This class is a class for special needs. All skill levels are welcome, from beginning to proficient. During the monthly sessions, group members listen to and discuss selected poetry, prose, or stories, learn poetic forms and writing techniques, and write from intriguing prompts. More discussion follows when group members volunteer to share their written responses. Because we do not critique, an atmosphere of support and acceptance prevails. This group is facilitated by Nessa McCasey. 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month, 10:00 a.m.
A Course in Miracles Study Group
Newcomers are always welcome! This is a self-study course, (sometimes done in groups), that explores the miracles that occur when we forgive. We learn to become aware of our judgements of ourselves and others, beginning to question the reality of these judgements. As we overlook/let go of these mistaken perceptions, which usually equate to anything ffrom annoyance to fear, anger, hatred, unhappiness, we begin to see differently. This is the key to the course. It is about removing our ego judgements.. This group is facilitated by Lin Anderson. Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.
Newcomers are always welcome! The purpose of this class is to teach the practice of "miracle-mindedness", the Course's simple method of opening to and sharing love, and to apply it to our daily lives. Happier relationships, joy, purpose, and peace will be the result for all participants. As the Course says: "Teach only love, for that is what you are" and "Deep within you is everything that is perfect, ready to radiate through you and out into the world." Prior experience with the Course is not necessary. This groups is facilitated by George Bartnick who is a native Grand Rapidian and 30-year student of the Course, a certified Yoga Instructor and former resident of the Kripalu Center For Yoga and Health in Lenox, MA. Wednesdays, 7:00 p.m.
Eckhart Tolle Meditation Group
A wonderful way to take time out for peace in the middle of your busy week. The current format is 20 minutes of silent meditation followed by 30 minutes of an Eckhart Tolle's DVD's. Eckhart's profound, yet simple, teachings have already helped countless people throughout the world find inner peace and greater fulfillment in their lives. The group is very informal. This group is facilitated by Patrick Duiven, who is a Psychologist in private practice in Grand Rapids. He offers Traditional and Contemplative Psychotherapy, (www.drduiven.com). For 20 years, he has been deeply immersed in the study of ancient and contemporary spiritual teachings, most recently those of Eckhart Tolle. 2nd Wednesday of each month, 12:00 p.m. The last gathering will be June 12.
Eckhart Tolle Evening Meditation Group
Oprah Winfrey selected Eckhart Tolle's book, "A New Earth", as her Oprah's Book Club selection in 2008. This was followed by a 10-week internet webinar with Eckhart and Oprah. Following this, there was the formation of an internet portal called "Eckhart Tolle TV". It could be said that Eckhart's teachings are a modern way to experience the common core truths of all religions, or another way of saying this is that it realizes the essence of what has been called "The Perennial Philosophy". With the interest in the teachings of Eckhart Tolle, there has also been a worldwide response for the opportunity for people to meet together to further experience the sense of presence and stillness that Eckhart points to in his teachings, especially when they gather to share this sense of stillness and silence that can be felt within. The group meeting format consists first of shared silence time, (meditation), about 10 minutes in length, followed by watching an Eckhart Tolle DVD chosen from resources of the "Eckhart Tolle TV" web service. This group is facilitated by Paul Schroeder, who has spent the past 3-4 years studying the Eckhart Tolle material and has actively engaged with othes worldwide to deepen his understanding and practice of Eckhart's teachings. 1st Wednesday of each month, 7:00 p.m.
Open Meditation: Why Peace of Mind is Possible and Easy
Learn how to be attentive to the underlying subjective reality of the present moment. Being present is more than just noticing what you can see, hear, feel, smell, and taste now. What you put your attention on matters hugely and is often overlooked. As people learn to be present in their daily lives, it is common for their attention to jump from one thing to the next as they attempt to be aware of whatever is currently happening. This group is faciliated by Bjorn, who has been practicing meditation and yoga since 1995 and teaching meditation since 1990. He teaches effortless techniques and is available to all who seek direct experience of the nature of their very own being. For additional information, please visit http://meditationmichigan.com and www.meetup.com/thebrightpath/. Mondays, 7:00 p.m.
Connections is a small-group Ministry at FSC. Groups of 8-10 people meet weekly for 9 weeks, using a theme as a foundation for discussion and Circle Process as a format for those discussions. Within a Connections Circle Process discussion, all members are equal. No one individual is the teacher, no group of individuals the students. All are both. Members are given the opportunity to both speak and to listen, to teach and to learn. Each meeting consists of the following parts: an opening ritual, member check-in, theme discussion, process observation, member check-out, and closing ritual. Connections is a Ministry as we are both nurturing other members and being nurtured by them through the discussion and the rituals of the Circle Process. Additionally, each group chooses a community outreach service in which to participate. This could be within FSC, the greater Grand Rapids community, or a global concern.