Welcome to your online FCC Growth Group sign-up center. A Growth Group is a small group of 10-20 people who agree to meet regularly to discuss a book or a topic of conversation, to share an activity, and to meet new people. Churches are only as strong as the connection among its members, and small groups are the sinews that hold the body together. They are great ways to expand social circles, gain knowledge, support one another, and to serve God.
Joining a group indicates a commitment to attend as many meetings as possible and to pray for each other along the way. Group leaders determine whether to meet weekly, bi-weekly, or in some cases, monthly (see group descriptions for details). During sign-up periods, you are welcome to join a group for the first time, switch to a different group, or even sign up for a few complementary groups during the same semester. Now…go grow!
(GROUP FULL) The Last Puritans: Congregational Identity in the 19th Century
Weekly / Tuesdays / 7:00 pm / Zoom
Leader: Jonathan Page
Source material: The Last Puritans: Mainline Protestants and the Power of the Past, by Margaret Bendroth
Description: In the lead up to the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrim landing, this group will look at the creation and development of Congregational identity in the 19th century. It was during this time that the Pilgrims became central to Congregational self-understanding and Congregationalists finally formed a national denomination. Margaret Bendroth’s book The Last Puritans: Mainline Protestants and the Power of the Past can be purchased on Amazon new, used, or in Kindle format.
Monthly / First Fridays / 12:00 pm / Zoom
Leader: Steve Rosencranz
Coordinator: Dave Pelton
Source material: Social Group; Discussion based on current events.
Description: This is an ideal entry group for men who are new to FCC. We are a social group geared toward fellowship. Discussion is based on current events or other topics of interest. Join us!
Weekly / Tuesdays / 9:30 a.m. / Zoom
Leader: Ed Hennig
Source material: TBD
Description: Mindfulness and meditation practice have been shown to decrease stress, increase spiritual awareness, and increase happiness. Yet so often cultivating a mindfulness practice on our own without a guide can be difficult. This group explores techniques for Christian mindfulness, including guided meditation during the group meetings. All levels of mindfulness practitioners are welcome, especially those who want to explore this for themselves.
Parenting Young Children
Bi-Weekly / 2nd & 4th Saturdays / 5:30 p.m. / Zoom
Leader: Nate Jones
Source material: Short, contemplative passages from various sources as selected and shared by the Leader during the meeting
Description: This group is ideal for parents who seek the opportunity to share fellowship with other families, develop a deeper understanding of God’s presence in our daily lives, and discuss ways and means of shouldering the responsibilities of parenthood. Casual and flexible by necessity (see: parenting young children), this group provides a safe space to share victories and challenges throughout this uniquely intense phase of the human experience.
(GROUP FULL) Reflection
Weekly / Thursdays / 7:00 p.m. / Zoom
Leader: Lynette Ross
Coordinator: Robin Stillwell
Source material: The Ten Commandments: Laws of the Heart, by Joan Chittister
Description: Join us as we explore the Ten Commandments as Laws of the Heart. For example, are the Ten Commandments just a set of rules, or a way of life? How does each one call us to reflect and to act? What does it mean to love God and neighbor in a world of violence and fear that threatens our lives and our souls? Sister Joan Chittister addresses these questions and more in this honest inquiry into what it means to be born in the image of and likeness of God. She goes beyond the Ten Commandments to shed light on the two Great Commandments, “Love God with all your heart, and your neighbor as yourself.”
Sisters of Mary Magdalene
Twice Monthly / Second and Last Mondays / 7:00 p.m. / Zoom
Beverly Carson and Jane Holland, Co-Leaders
Source material: The Chalice and the Blade, by Riane Eisler
Description: Sisters of Mary Magdalene is a women’s book discussion group founded around 25 years ago. Traditionally, meetings include pot luck dinner, laughter and conversation, and about an hour of book discussion. During this summer semester, we will meet virtually via Zoom. Those available will meet on the second Monday of those months from 7-8 pm for a check in of members. The regular meeting, the last Monday of the month, will include a check in on each other from 7-7:30, with book discussion following from 7:30-8:30 pm. For June-August, we will discuss The Chalice and the Blade, a 1988 classic. We will read the first four chapters for June.
Weekly / Wednesdays / 7:30 p.m. / Zoom
Leader: Kelly Stevens
Coordinator: Shirley Taloff
Source material: Talking Tolerance: Reflections on Religion in a Free Society, by Jill Carroll
Description: This book is a collection of selected posts written by Dr. Jill Carroll for her Houston Chronicle blog, “Talking Tolerance.” Group members will read and discuss a few entries each week. Sample questions addressed include: How do we live together in the midst of radical difference? How might we affirm others without compromising our own beliefs? What is the proper response to things we find offensive? FCC looks forward to welcoming Dr. Carroll later this year as the inaugural presenter in the upcoming Memorial Lecture Series in honor of Dr. Sylvia Richards.
Bi-Weekly / Thursdays / 7:00 p.m. / Zoom
Leader: Katherine Arbiter
Coordinator: Krysia Lynes
Source material: Tasting Sheets
Description: Let’s have an exciting and fun adventure exploring together during this crisis to take our minds off making face masks and bleach wipes and focus on another important part of social distancing: drinking wine. In each class, we will either compare two grapes or a single grape from two different regions or styles. If we get really fancy, we might even taste the same wine from different years. But each week, two bottles will be compared. Suggested wine purchases for each week will be given in the syllabus. Sometimes case discounts are helpful! You will also need two wine glasses and a white napkin or paper towel.
Weekly / Thursdays / 7:00 p.m. / Zoom
Cassie Collier and Peter Overland, Co-Leaders
Source material: Searching for Sunday, by Rachel Held Evans
Description: This group focuses on connecting younger (or young-at-heart) adults who may be finishing school, entering the workforce, and/or continuing careers at work and at home. Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church is an easy reading memoir-style book in which author Rachel Held Evans describes her own changing relationship with organized religion, highlighting challenges many millennials face. Weekly readings of a few pages at a time from this book will provide conversation prompts. We look forward to connecting with others in this crazy time as we bond together over the challenges and joys of life, work, school, and general adulting!
Adult Christian Ed Class /
Weekly / Sundays / 7:00 p.m. / Zoom
Krysia Lynes and Karen Dees, Co-Leaders
Source material: Feasting on the Word Curriculum (provided during class)
Description: Join us as we explore each upcoming Sunday’s Lectionary reading. We will follow the curriculum, “Feasting on the Word.” Questions to ponder include WHAT is important to know; WHERE is God in these words; SO WHAT does this mean for our lives; and NOW WHAT is God’s word calling us to do?
Note: All are welcome to attend on a come-as-you-can basis for this special-edition, Adult Christian Education class! No sign-up necessary. (This offering is not meant to replace a Growth Group.)