Faith Development

Children & Youth


Affinity Groups



"How Do You See It?": Explorations of Essays

Join Rev. Jan for a monthly gathering devoted to exploring contemporary essays taken from the recently released volume, The Best American Essays, edited by Ariel Levy.

The word “essay” has evolved toward a multi-faceted meaning: to examine, to weigh, to attempt to articulate one’s perspective, to experiment with one’s ideas, to put one’s views to the test by use of the written word. It is said that all views, and all knowledge, depends upon one’s perspective. As we read each essay on our own, we will ask, “How do I see it?” and then when we gather, we will invite one another to answer the question, “How do you see it?”

We will bring our brown bag lunches and gather on Wednesdays in Thomson Hall from 12:15 to 1:15.

  • Mar. 23 Strange Days by Sven Birkerts
  • Apr. 27 Vision by Tiffany Briere
  • May 18 My Daughter and God by Justin Cronin
  • June 1 Difference Maker by Meghan Daum

“Listening for God”: Explorations of Short Stories

Join Rev. Jan for Listening for God, a monthly, “drop-in, come when you can,” Wednesday noontime short story discussion group with no fixed membership. Newcomers will always be welcome. The group will probe contemporary short fiction for insights, both spiritual and intellectual, about what it means to be human. Recent scientific research tells us that reading fiction is good for the brain; engaging with characters and story can help to develop the parts of our brain that influence our capacity for empathy. The format is based on a long-used adult faith development model called “Listening for God” but “Listening for Life” also could be an apt title. All perspectives and all questions always welcome.

Stories will be taken from the just-released volume, The Best American Short Stories of 2015, edited by T.C. Boyle.

We will bring our brown bag lunches and gather on Wednesdays in Thomson Hall from 12:15 to 1:15.

  • Mar. 9 Bride Julia Elliott
  • Apr. 13 The Big Cat Louise Erdrich
  • May 25 You’ll Apologize If You Have To by Ben Fowlkes
  • June 8 The Fugue by Arna Bontemps Hemenway