Following Jesus is hard work.
We understand that being a Christian can be hard work, and it is easier and more rewarding if it can be done in a group with laughter and open sharing. If you participate, chances are that you will learn something you didn’t even know you wanted to learn.
Sunday Morning Classes
Our adults actively engage in a number of Sunday School groups and other conversations to explore issues and ideas that impact our lives. Joining in these conversations and learning opportunities will allow you to ask questions in a safe place, meet new people, and build deeper relationships with folks you already know.
If you’d like to read about classes that have been offered in the past, visit the adult Christian education section of our news and events page. You may also be interested in our Spiritual Direction program.
Click the class titles to find all the details you’ll need.
Lectionary-based class where we discuss a different Scripture and theme each week. Drop in any week for discussion, laughter, and serious contemplation of the Bible. Older youth are welcome to attend this class. We also have childcare and KidsWorship available for younger children.
October 20 through December 15 (does not meet Dec. 1, due to Thanksgiving)
Led by Rev. Caela Simmons Wood
“Now and then a book comes along that sounds an alarm, challenging prevailing ways of viewing and interpreting our world and exposing a profound injustice that is hidden in plain sight. The New Jim Crow [by Michelle Alexander] is such a book. But it is more than that. It is a call to conscience, a call to action. The book argues that nothing short of a major social movement – a human rights movement rooted in the recognition of the basic dignity and humanity of all of us – holds any hope for ending mass incarceration and breaking the cycle of caste in the United States.” (from The New Jim Crow Study Guide, published by the Veterans of Hope Project)
Are you ready to have your eyes opened to racial injustice in the United States? Or perhaps they’ve already been opened and you are looking for a place to take that next step. Join us for a discussion of Michelle Alexander’s powerful, urgent call to action. Participants are invited to acquire a copy of the book and read the introduction before the class begins. Older youth are welcome to attend this class. We also have childcare and KidsWorship available for younger children.
Are you looking for a space where you can connect with others from First United and explore what it means to follow the Way of Jesus? You are invited to join one of our Covenant Groups. These groups of 8-10 people meet in homes or in the wider community. At each meeting, you will have the chance to check in with the others in your group, spend time in prayer together, and talk about how you experience God in your life. If you want a place where you can be intentional about knowing others, sharing yourself, and experiencing the Holy, we hope you will sign up for one of these groups.
Groups are forming now and are always open to newcomers. Click the group titles to find all the details you’ll need.
Led by Lisa and Ben Harvey, meets in various places around town
The Divine and Desserts is all about seeking the sacred in community. Group members are invited to take turns bringing a dessert to share as we spend time getting to know one another, praying for each other, and exploring where we experience the Holy in our lives. You can meet Lisa and Ben here. To find out the next meeting date and location, please contact Lisa.
Led by Molly and Noel Koontz, meets in group members’ homes
Faith, Food, and Ale is a place you can come to relax, rejuvenate, and share faith (and good beer!). Recognizing the holy practice of breaking bread together (and the necessity of fitting a meal in on a busy weeknight!) we share dinner together when we meet. Please bring a dish to share. Kids are very welcome at our group and we will share the responsibility of keeping them safe and finding ways for them to have fun. You can meet Molly and Noel here. To find out the next meeting date and get directions, please contact Molly.
Led by Catherine Gray and Rebecca Hoke-McCall, meets at Catherine’s home (10 minutes north of town, off of old 37)
Perhaps you’re a morning person. Or maybe your hectic schedule makes this the only time you can fit it in! Whatever your reasons, we are so glad you are interested in joining us early in the morning to talk about God. Our group will share breakfast when we meet. We are tentatively describing our group as fellow faith wonderers/wanderers, looking to recognize and seek inspiration from the holy and sacred in our lives. We look forward to seeing how our group evolves over time. Faith Wonderers/Wanderers is a group designed for adults only. To find out the next meeting date and get directions, please contact Catherine.
Led by Sam Troxal and Donovan Walling, meets at their home (near Templeton School)
This group is especially directed to—but not limited to—gay men. Members, nonmembers, and allies of all sexes are welcome and encouraged as we discuss life and faith over a glass of wine. Feel free to bring a bottle of wine or come alone. To find out the next meeting date and get directions, please contact Sam.
Looking for an informal way to spend time with others from First United? Our drop-in groups may fit your schedule perfectly. Unlike our covenant groups, these do not require a commitment from you. Instead, you may come when your schedule allows and enjoy an opportunity to visit, meet new people, and explore shared interests. Don’t see the right group for you? Maybe it’s time to start a new one!
Click the group titles to find all the details you’ll need.
E-mail Cindy before attending to verify the date, because the group takes breaks for holidays.
In 2011, a feminist book club was created at First United. The group meets at noon following Sunday morning worship once a month in Roger Williams Hall. The group consists of progressive feminist women from the church and the Bloomington community at large. Women of all ages are invited and can join at any time.
The group focuses primarily on contemporary women’s fiction and feminist writing over a wide range of topics. The club members do read and faithfully discuss the book choice each month. Recent selections have included The Color Purple, The Dovekeepers, Mists of Avalon, The Tiger’s Wife, Little Bee, Room, and State of Wonder.
If you’re interested, please attend and try the club out for a month or two. The group typically meets the second Sunday each month at noon following Sunday morning worship. However, occasional holidays or conflicts arise, and you should check with the church office or e-mail the group before attending the first time to verify the date and book selection. Discussion is led by the club members, and the facilitator is Cindy Stone.
Contact Pat Martin to be notified of upcoming meetings
We understand grieving as a process that happens to all of us. We often think of losing a life partner, child, or parent, but grief can also be brought on by the changes that occur within ourselves at any major life transition. This is a group that meets periodically to talk about grief and the ways our congregation can support those who are grieving. Some members are actively grieving a recent loss and others have been on their journey for quite some time.
Led by Al and Kathy Ruesink
If you’re a “nature type” or if you’ve never been on a hike but want to learn from those who do it regularly, this is the place for you. Join us as we explore natural areas. Upcoming dates are November 10 and December 8. Potential hiking locations include Griffey, Bean Blossom Bottoms, Paynetown, McCormick’s Creek, Brown County State Park, Morgan-Monroe State Forest, the Deam Wilderness and more. Contact Al if you have questions or want to know more about upcoming hikes.
Organizer is Patti Pizzo
Gather with others who care about our church library as we catalog books and keep our library up to date. Tea and a light snack are always served with a side of conversation about current events in Bloomington and the world. For more information, contact the church office.
Facilitated by Jacque Soderquist
Join other parents as we get to know each other better and talk about a variety of topics. You may also be interested in joining our Facebook group to keep updated on parent-related activities at First United. Child care is provided in our nursery for children 3 and under. Kids aged 3 to 5th grade can participate in KidsWorship. For more information about the group or to suggest a topic, contact Jacque Soderquist.
Organizer is Nora Sullivan
For more information, contact Nora Sullivan, Jean Peters or the church office.
Meets at Sara Frommer’s home (828 S. Fess Ave., just north of Maxwell Lane)
This informal needlecrafting group is open to men, women, and young people. Bring your knitting, crocheting, embroidery, quilt piecing, or whatever you like to work on while getting to know each other better and maybe learning a new craft. Between them, Sara Frommer and Marge Faber have knitting needles, patterns and yarn to share with beginners and others who might need some. Maybe you do too. By the way, there’s a ramp around to the back door, if those front steps are a problem. Contact Sara for directions to her home.
Led by Rev. Dr. Jack Skiles
This group meets for 1.5 hours weekly and studies a wide array of biblical, theological, and social issues. Last year, our focus was on Lost Christianities – those early Christian faith expressions/groups that were alive and well in the early centuries of Christianity that no longer exist. Some weeks, it is not uncommon for us to deal with issues that have arisen in our daily journeys and to discuss them from our group’s many varied faith perspectives. This fall’s group will deal with issues ranging from the source of evil, the ongoing quest to know the historical Jesus, and a look at the biggest faith heroes and heroines from the perspective of a famous New Testament professor who happens to be Jewish. Each week is complete in itself. Participants may easily come and go as schedules permit. Food, coffee, and tea are always served fresh and with a smile.
Do you have a Yoga practice or would you like to start one? Practice together on Mondays at 8:30 am in Fellowship Hall. Bring a Yoga mat, a blanket (like a wool camp blanket) and a small bath towel. We’ll begin slowly and mindfully. Questions? Talk to Kathy Ruesink or the church office.
“What is happening in your life? Where is God in the midst of that? What is the invitation?” Are these questions you’d like to explore with other like-minded folks.
Group spiritual direction participants look and listen together to notice and to respond to the ways in which God is present and to reflect on questions like these. God meets us where we are, in the ordinary experiences of our everyday lives, and interacts with each of us uniquely. When group members explore together, they reap the benefit of shared insights and broadened perspectives that the collective wisdom of the group provides.