This Season's Classes

Grow the Soul Classes

"Learning is the beginning of wealth.  Learning is the beginning of health.  Learning is the beginning of spirituality.  Searching and learning is where the miracle process all begins." ~ Jim Rohn ~
 
How will you be experimenting with your own life this season?  We hope to have a few ideas for you!  Please enjoy this Season's Grow the Soul Offerings.  There may be additional offerings as spring nears, so keep a lookout for updates!  Interested in experimenting in a different way?  Please feel free to e-mail us at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it   

Ekphrastic Project 2014
Sunday:  April 27, 9:30 a.m.
This year we are trying a new approach to the Ekphrastic Project!  We have been filling the Keeler Gallery with art and poetry/writings during July and August each summer since 2010.  This, our 5th year, will be based on one poem.  One poem will be used to inspire writers and artists, (perhaps even composers), alike.  Previously, the "conversation" was between individual poets and artists.  This year, it will be a more cohesive, (though diversity will reign, no doubt), "conversation" because of the one point of inspiration.  This is still a part of the Ekphrastic Project, as it will be in response to a piece of art: a poem.  The creative process is both the vehicle and the pathway!  If you would like to participate by writing or creating art, please come to any of the sessions planned to hear, discuss, and be inspired by the poem.  Projects will be due no later than June 1st in order to be displayed during July and August.  Please contact Nessa McCasey at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it to RSVP or if you have any questions.  

Exploring Truth (Women's Spiritual Wellness Group)
Wednesdays, April 16-May 21, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Cost:  $40.00
Facilitator:  Susan Massaro McFarland
Do you enjoy thought-provoking ideas and authentic dialogue with like-minded women?  This informal Discussion Group will include a consolidation of ideas from Buddhism and other world religions, neuroscience and faith, and immediately applicable therapeutic strategies.  Wellness, spirituality, and psychology can intersect to support us in increasing our resiliency and in developing our capacity to meet life's everyday challenges.  Mindfulness and contemplative living, suffering or the pursuit of happiness, compassion, equanimity, and change skills are all topics that will be discussed.  The group size is limited to 10 women, so register today at goo.gl/9OUIMr or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  Materials by the likes of Pema Chodron, Thich Nhat Hanh, Ram Dass, Sharon Salzberg, Mark Nepo, and others, along with spiritually-themed films, will be shared with the group.  Articles from varied sources will be provided and used as a catalyst for discussions.  Scholarships are available; for information, please contact Elizabeth Barnum at either (616) 459-8386 ext. 215 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  

Sunday Morning Book Group
The Sunday Morning Book Discussion Group continues!  We have chosen the book, "The Spontaneous Healing of Belief", by Gregg Braden.  Always open to new and returning participants, this Discussion Group will be facilitated by Jean Bahle, among others. 

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
One of FSC's longest-held traditions, Exploring Beliefs and Questions is a casual, unstructured discussion group that meets every Sunday.  We cover a wide range of topics, including science, emerging technologies, and politics in addition to the staple FSC subjects of spirituality, ethics, and philosophy.  Have something you want to talk about?  We are more than happy to accomodate you.  The topic of the day is whatever is on our member's minds.  This group is facilitated by Sherron Collins and Max Blaine Erskin.  Sundays, 9:45 a.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. 

Spiritual Expressions
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.

Writing Ourselves (Therapeutic Writing Group)
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.  

The Practice of "A Course in Miracles"
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.  Mondays, 7:00 p.m.

Connections
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.