Celebrating Our Small Groups
On Sunday November 4th, as is our annual tradition, we gave special tribute to our many small group ministries. Small groups are the wellspring of our life as a community of faith, helping many of us form lifelong friendships through the opportunity to study, pray, and serve with each other.
During Adult Education after church, we heard from each of our currently active small groups. Take a moment to check out the complete details for small group meeting times, locations, and leaders at http://www.togetherweserve.org/small-groups/. Below is a quick snapshot, including the names of the presenters that you can contact for more information; check your church directory for contact information.
Book Group meets every Monday, 3 to 4:30 pm in the Fireside Room (or Library). They’ve just started a new book, so it’s not too late to dive in. MaryAnne Cowperthwaite
Writing Group meets on the 2nd Tuesday of the month, 10am – noon. Usually, people are writing memoirs, but people do work on other writing projects. It’s an opportunity to read to each other or to share life stories. This is not about attaining rigorous literary standards. But if you want to write, and enjoy writing, it’s nice to have a monthly goal with friends to help stay on track. Phil Gross.
Qi Gong meets every Tuesday, 9:30 – 11 am in Room 204. Qi Gong is an ancient tradition born in China. It is about connecting “mind, body, and spirit.” Gentle movements, self-massage, and meditation are designed to improve balance and well-being. The group’s teacher was a former writer for the SF Chronicle and is a published poet, and classes usually begin with a poetry reading. The recommended fee per class is $10, or pay what you can. Libby Davis
Centering Prayer meets on Thursdays at 9:30 in the Library. This is an opportunity to practice the discipline of silent prayer. As Royce says, “God’s first language is silence; something can happen between you and God in the silence.” Centering prayer begins sharply at 9:30 and concludes by 9:50. There is an opportunity to talk and linger, but the group is finished no later than 10:15. Royce Truex
Presbyterian Women. This is a national women’s group of the Presbyterian Church, and has made many contributions over the past 100 years, evolving many influential ideas and programs we know today, for example “Women in Leadership” and the “Centsability” offering. Two PW programs are active in our church: the Horizons Bible Study and the Women’s Annual Spring Retreat. Betty Stott
Horizons Bible Study meets on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month from 10:15 to 11:30. Dan Robertson, our church intern, leads the current Bible study using curricula developed by Presbyterian Women. Dan Robertson.
Windows is a women’s group that originated more than 20 years ago. It is a covenant group, which means that those who participate make a promise and a commitment to support each other through thick and thin. In other words, it is not a drop-in group. The group meets faithfully on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month (and the 5th, if there is one) in the Library. At 10:15, there is an informal check-in. At 10:30, they begin a time of reflection on a biblical passage from the coming Sunday’s lectionary. Valda Whitman.
Fitness Group meets on Mondays from 11:30 to 12:30 in Duncan Hall. Led by Suzan Plath, it is focused on stretching and toning. There is some floor work on mats, some light weight lifting, and other zero-impact exercises. This group will be 20 years old in June! Drop-ins are okay, and mats are provided. Just wear comfortable clothes, sturdy shoes, and come as you are. Suzan Plath.
Career Transitions meets on Wednesdays from 9 to 10am in the church office workroom. The group formed about four years ago around the time of the stock market crash when many people found themselves suddently unemployed (or under-employed). As Joanne says, “looking for a job can be a very lonely experience, it helps to be able to connect with others, laugh in the face of adversity, and share stories.” Anything shared with the group is kept in strictest confidence. Usually the group will pick a book to read and discuss; the current book is Steven Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” About eight people currently participate, and 10-12 or so have “graduated.” Joanne Whitt
Lunch Bunch is open to anyone, not just Older Adults, and meets on the 2nd and 4th Friday of the month at noon at a local restaurant. Usually about 10-18 people join, both men and woman, and the group picks a local restaurant with good parking, good food, and a pleasant environment for talking and gathering. See Martha Spears for the next location spot.
Closely Knit Group was started three years ago. Lucky Phelps brought in a prayer shawl that her son’s church had knit for her. “Isn’t this beautiful?” she said to Shirley New. Shirley, who didn’t knit at the time, showed it to a few deacons and accomplished knitters, and the group took off. They’ve knit countless prayer shawls, and now caps, scarves, and fingerless mittens for our homeless guests. Before these items are distributed, they are blessed at our Thursday Service of Healing. Suzan Plath shared with the group, “My mom received a prayer shawl from this church toward the end of her life. It was in her favorite pink and peach colors and she wore it around her shoulders constantly, showing it off to visitors.” Suzan then said that the prayer shawl was one of the special items placed in a memory box containing her mother’s most treasured things. Phyllis Schlobohm and Alice Graham.
Women’s Connection started about a year ago for women who wanted a way to connect with other women at church. It was for “women in the middle” — not a group for women and small children, nor a group for older retired women. The group meets once every other month during the school year (September, November, January, March, and May) for a potluck dinner or other activity. Raquel Nelson (who says, “I am NOT the leader”) can answer any questions.
Discernment on Tap is for 4th year Seminarians who meet with Diana Bell and each other to talk about God’s will for their transition back into the “real world” after graduation while sharing a beer. They meet on the first Wednesday of the month from 4-5pm. Faith McClellan.