Fall 2018 Small Group Ministries                                First Congregational Church UCC, Boulder


In a congregation our size, small groups are the primary way for people to connect with others while pursuing spiritual transformation in their lives. Small groups are a way of building an interconnected community, one in which we foster opportunities to sojourn together. When we nurture intentional relationships with one another, we embody a relational God – a God made known in the life and ministry of Jesus, who reminds us that wherever we gather in small numbers, the Christ Presence is with us.

All of our small groups embody four important values: Inviting, Growing, Connecting and Serving. Some groups may emphasize one value over another, but

each group seeks to incorporate all four values. For example, while a book study group may be primarily about growing spiritually and intellectually through a book, it is also intentional about inviting others to join the group, connecting with one another to build community, and serving others through outreach.

We have three kinds of small groups: Small Groups & Ministries (Bible studies, fellowship groups, discussion and support groups); Mission & Christian Social Action Groups (ongoing groups focused on service, social justice and inclusion); and Classes & Workshops (learning opportunities with professional instructors for nominal fee).

We hope the small group offerings at First Congregational Church will help you to discover and enrich your faith, to discern and use your gifts, and to build community within our congregation. Look through the many offerings, find something of interest to you, and get involved. Sign up at the Small Groups Fair on Sunday, October 1 following both services, online,   or call/email the facilitator listed.

If you have an idea for a future small group, or are interested in leading a group, contact our Small Groups Coordinator, Susan Wilkinson, at 303-772-3531 or suemacnutson@gmail.com. You may also contact Pedro Silva, Associate Pastor at 303-442-1787 x102 or pedro@ firstcong.net.

“Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

-- Jesus (Matthew 18:20)



BIBLE STUDY The Gospel of John        

BIBLE STUDY Introduction to the New Testament






MARTIE MCMANE ARTS MINISTRY                                






















BOOK STUDY - Switch: How to Change When Change Is Hard        





YOGA FOR WELLNESS                



The Gospel of John


Many of the stories about Jesus in the Gospel of John are unique to his book, not found in the other three Gospels.  Whether you are new to Bible Study or have been a part of a group for years, come explore John’s understanding of the “Word made Flesh,” on the first, third, and fifth Wednesdays, starting October 17 as we read and study and talk through the whole Gospel from beginning to end.


Date and Time:          Every other Wednesday, starting October 17, 5:30 to 6:45pm

Place:                 Heritage Room

Contact :         John Bisceglia johnbisceglia80305@msn.com,  Chris Braudaway-Bauman  chris@firstcong.net


Introduction to the New Testament

Join Julie Griffitts and Phil Braudaway-Bauman on a whirlwind 8-week tour of the Gospels and Paul’s letters. Explore the story of Jesus, how the faith of the disciples developed, and how the early church was shaped. Bible study beginners are welcome.  The Introduction to the New Testament Participants Guide is available for $10.

Date & time         Thursdays, October 18 - December 13 (Excluding Thanksgiving Day)

Place        Heritage Room, FAITH Center

Contact                Julie Griffits,  julie.griffitts@gmail.com


A group of seniors meets weekly for breakfast. Join us – no need to call ahead – just come! This group meets year round and newbies are always welcome.

Date & time              Mondays, 8:30am

Place        Parkway Café, 4700 Old Pearl (behind Toyota dealership)

Contact        Mary Greenwald, 303-443-6478


Starting on October 27, 2018, the church will come together at 5 pm in Plymouth Hall on Saturdays once a month for a dinner worship service for all ages. To prepare for this evening each month, join Matt Hess, Diana Shellenberger, and Phil Braudaway-Bauman in the church kitchen or at Phil’s and Chris’ home in Longmont to make dinner. If you like to cook or help in the kitchen, this is your chance. Dates and times of the group gathering will vary. 

Date & time:         Varies

Place:         Varies

Contact:           Phil Braudaway-Bauman at phil@baumanhome.com or Matt Hess at hess.matt.j@gmail.com


This is an opportunity for families with young children up through elementary school age to gather in fellowship (older siblings are welcome). On one weekend night a month, we will gather for an early evening potluck dinner at the home of one of the group members. There is no planned program, just a chance for FCC parents and children to spend time together, while still getting home for bedtime. If you are interested in being on the email list, contact Jeanne Quinn.

Date & Time             TBD by Host

Place        TBD by Host

Contact        jeannequinn1@gmail.com, 303.818.4156


Fellowship of the Grape (FOG) is an ongoing monthly gathering of over-21 church members or visitors to share wine (or non-alcoholic beverages) and get to know each other informally. People volunteer to host at their homes on a monthly basis, and can set a theme, such as wines from New Zealand, California white wines, or anything they choose. Participants bring a bottle of wine and a hearty appetizer to share. Hosts provide space, plates and napkins, and a non-alcoholic beverage alternative. The church provides wine glasses for the event. Sign up to receive email notices, and/ or to be a volunteer host. Notices also appear in the Friday Weekly Update. All are welcome!


Date & time           4th Friday of each month, 6-8 pm.  No gathering in November or December.

Place                     Rotating location, volunteer hosts each month

Contact                  Karen Cumbo 970-222-0176 or kjcumbo@gmail.com

                   Bob Cutler at 303-819-7695 or rcutler@aceinvesting.com


If you are interested in learning to knit, or knitting with others, you are invited to join this group. The knitting is simple, and the camaraderie is great. We knit prayer shawls for those in our church community in need of comfort and support in difficult times; baby blankets for new additions to our congregation, and blankets for graduating seniors. Shawls have been made for centuries; they are universal and embracing. They enfold, comfort, cover, wrap, nurture, hug, shelter and beautify, and are symbolic of God’s inclusive and unconditional love. Over the last 14 years, we have provided more than close to 250 shawls and blankets to others. Come join us in this fun and rewarding ministry. We mostly knit on our own but come once a month to share the fellowship of knitting together.

Date & time              1st Tuesday, 1:30-2:30pm

Place        Heritage Room, FAITH Center

Contact        Alma Alber, 303-449-5663, almaalber@comcast.net


The Arts Ministry’s mission is to create, encourage and promote opportunities for people to experience and explore the dynamic flow between spirituality and the arts. The arts are understood to include visual arts, dance, music, drama, creative writing or any other art form the Arts Ministry wishes to include in furthering its mission. The Arts Ministry offers three major areas for involvement:

Exhibitions - Bring rotating art into the building for congregational and community viewing; plan and install exhibitions; host First Friday opening receptions.

Worship - Provide fabric art and other visual art for sacred spaces; plan visual installations in the sanctuary; encourage use of drama and liturgical dance in wor-ship.

Workshops - Provide experiential opportunities for non artists and artists to learn and grow; sponsor an artist in residence program at the church to enrich the congregation; offer educational opportunities to highlight various art forms, practices and media.

This Ministry is open to anyone who has an interest in participating in any of these activities. You need not be an artist.


Bonney Forbes


Alma Alber



Have you ever considered writing a memoir? The goal of each member of these groups is to write ~40 vignettes which will eventually comprise a memoir. We write in response to a weekly “prompt” and then read our vignettes to the group. Each group is limited to 7 members.

Date & Time             First Mondays, 8:30-10:00 a.m. and Wednesdays, 1:30-3:30 p.m.(the Wednesday group meets weekly)

Place        Mondays – Standish Room, Wednesdays - Conference Room

Contact        (First Monday of the Month) Donna Daniell, LCSW, donnalcsw@gmail.com, 303 682-5220

(Wednesdays) Nancy Wade, nmwade1@gmail.com, 303-579-7746


Do you hunger for conversation that is more than just talk? Then join us for the much famed Men’s Breakfast. This is an open community of men who have a heart for our church community  and our world.  Every week we have conversations that  take a heart and head approach to inviting in personal and communal transformation.


Date & time              Fridays, 7-8:30am

Place        Standish Room, FAITH Center

Contact        Pedro Silva, 303-442-1787, pedro@firstcong.net


Do you enjoy thought-provoking movies of all sorts?  Popular releases and “artier” films?  Films from the U.S. as well as other nations?  Films that address relationship issues, current affairs, and historical events?  If so, join us for the First Cong Movie Group.  Similar to a book club, we watch a film on our own on DVD, On-Demand, or streamed online.  Then we meet on a Friday evening at a group member’s home to discuss it.  We gather at 6:45pm, for a few minutes of social time and refreshments, then the conversation begins at 7:00pm.  During the first part of the conversation, we recall more concrete aspects of the movie:  the characters, settings, events, and dialog.  After a break—with “potluck” refreshments including popcorn from the host—we deal with more abstract issues:  motivations, intentions, meanings, and takeaways.  We adjourn at 8:30pm.  We also throw an annual Oscars party – with costumes and competing to guess the most winners.

We meet monthly 7-9 times a year, usually Friday (aiming for the second Friday of the month).  Recommendations of films are welcome as are volunteers to moderate the discussions of them.  If you can accommodate a group of 12-16 people in your home, also consider volunteering to host a session.  The group is organized by Keith Lance and Bev Nelson, both of whom are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Date & Time             Fridays, October 19, November 9, 6:45 p.m.

Place        Various participants houses

Contact        Keith Lance, 303-466-1860, keithcurrylance@gmail.com

Bev Nelson, 303-442-5332, bevnelsonadr@comcast.net


Adult Choir

The Adult Choir is always delighted to welcome new members in all sections to our friendly group of music-makers who enjoy being together and singing a wide variety of music. Rehearsal: Thursdays 7:15-9:00 pm

Congregational Bells

The Congregational bells welcome anyone interested in learning more about ringing. No previous ringing experience is needed, but it is a plus if you can read music. Rehearsal: Tuesdays at 5:45-7:00 pm

Youth Choir

Youth Choir meets in the choir room on Sunday mornings 11:45a.m.-12:30 p.m.  under the direction of our Children’s Music Director, Julia Wirth. The age ranges from 5th – 12th grade and we sing a great variety of music, from classic to contemporary Christian. No previous music skills are needed, only your interest in singing together with friends and having a lot of fun. Come and check us out!  For questions or to register, email Julia at Julia.wirth@colorado.edu

Small ensembles

Various groups meet and make music together for our services, based on the need of specific services. Let Kajsa know if you are interested in participating, and she will add you to the group.


Contact        Kajsa Teitelbaum, Director of Music, kajsa@firstcong.net


The Spiritual Support Group for Caregivers meets on a monthly basis serving those who provide care for loved ones. The group is facilitated by volunteers and offers a safe and confidential setting where one can receive support for the sometimes challenging caregiver journey. The meetings are structured along respectful guidelines that foster sharing, reflection, and an invitational spirit.

Date & time              2nd Sundays, 12-1:30pm

Place        Heritage Room, FAITH Center

Contact                Bill Forbes wmforbes1@gmail.com,  Margaret Perez mlbperez@aol.com


A Spiritual Support Group for Mental Health and Wellness meets for persons who are affected with mental health challenges, as well as for family and friends. This confidential group provides a place to share, learn, and grow in a supportive environment.  We welcome all faith traditions or none.

Date & time              4th Mondays, 7-8:30pm

Place        Heritage Room, FAITH Center

Contact        Anne Weiher, anne.weiher@gmail.com


Join us to explore faith as a journey and whole-hearted living with like-minded
women in a supportive setting. Make friendships, take time for yourself, and nurture your spirit. We are currently reading Christians and the Common Good, by Charles E. Gutenson; the book is out of print so check used bookstores and Amazon. This is a drop-in group; it is not necessary to have read the book to attend. All women are welcome. 

Date & time              Tuesdays, 12-1:30pm

Place        Heritage Room, FAITH Center

Contact        Susan Pfretzschner, 303 440-6346, susanpf2@comcast.net


Wonder Women is an ongoing "drop in" group of women who meet twice monthly to share thoughts and experiences on "the meaning of life" after age 60. We typically read from a book chosen by the group. There is no "homework": we read the selections as we begin, then sharing thoughts, experiences and questions. We invite you to join us as we journey on our exploration of what it means to “age gracefully”.

Date & time      1st & 3rd Thursdays, 1:30-3pm

Place        Heritage Room, FAITH Center

Contact        Alma Alber, 303-449-5663, almaalber@comcast.net



This group, organized with the encouragement and participation of FCC members and staff, meets once a month on the 1st Monday at 6:30-7:30. The NAACP does its work through Committees. At the present time, five are forming: Education, Criminal Justice and Legal Redress, Economic Opportunity and Access, Media Diversity, Civic Engagement. The mission of this group is to work to ensure jus-tice and equality and inclusion for people of all colors. Joining the NAACP is of great value, even if one cannot participate in committees or attend regularly.

Date & time              First Mondays, 6:30-7:30pm

Place        Call Rob Stuart for details.

Contact        Rob Stuart, frenchborobooks@icloud.com,  207 479-2938


The Boulder Chapter of CCL is an affiliate organization of FCC’s Eco-ministry committee. This bipartisan organization trains and supports members to speak effectively with elected officials on climate and environmental issues. It works to build political will to frame policies that restore and protect the environment, especially the fragile biosphere that has made earth different from every other planet of which we are aware in the support of an extraordinary abundance of life forms—all mutually interdependent in profound ways. CCL has worked to create the bipartisan Congressional Climate Caucus, which has grown from 12 to 56 members (28 Republicans and 28 Democrats) in the last 6 months.

Contact        Rob Stuart, frenchborobooks@icloud.com


FCC provides volunteer assistants the first Wednesday of each month to serve an evening meal open to all in need.  This is a great opportunity to help others, and helpers of all ages are welcome. There are many choices for how you can help, and we have a great time together, too.    Sign up in advance from the weekly online update under Quick Links or contact Denise Cone, denise.cone@msn.com

Date & time              1st Wednesdays, various shifts between 4:30-6:30p

Place        Bridge House Path to Home, 2691 30th Street, Boulder

Contact        Denise Cone, denise.cone@msn.com


This committee meets once a month on the 2nd Sunday at 12 noon, offers “In Between” forums and “Expanded Forums,” provides resources and educational opportunities and resources, works collaboratively with other Environmental action programs in Boulder County (Citizen’s Climate Lobby and GreenFaith Circle, a newly launched interfaith environmental action collaborative with leadership and help from the FCC Ecoministry Team), in the State of Colorado (Eco-justice Ministries, Interfaith Alliance of Colorado), and Nationally (Creation Justice Ministries, GreenFaith, and the national UCC Program.Saving the Biosphere for sustainable human life by education, engagement, and action is our core vision. Reverence for Life: Love the Biosphere* (*and everything in it) is our spiritual orientation. A sense of urgency is our driving force.

Date & time         Second Sundays, 12-12:59 pm

Place        Heritage Room, FAITH Center

Contact        Rob Stuart, frenchborobooks@icloud.com


Our church is a long-time supporter of H4H. Volunteers are always welcomed for work days with the families who will soon occupy the homes. No experience is needed. Visit www.FlatironsHabitat.org to sign up. Remember to purchase your grocery cards during Fellowship Hour on the first Sundays, which support Habitat in our community. They are available for King Soopers and Safeway.

Card Contact            Tom Woods, tnwoods@comcast.net   and  Denise Cone, denise.cone@msn.com


This group’s mission is to help our church extend God’s extravagant welcome to all persons, seeking to understand, include, and empower people with all differing abilities and disabilities, apparent or unapparent. We work to reduce the stigma around disability and mental illness by providing educational opportunities, resources, and spiritual support for those many people who live with a disability or a mental illness and for their families and friends. We meet monthly to develop programs, provide resources, and host conferences and conversations in our church on disabilities and mental illness.

Date & time              Third Tuesdays, 7pm

Place        Heritage Room, FAITH Center

Contact        Anne Weiher , anne.weiher@gmail.com, 720-839-4139


We set up and staff a warm lunch to those in need in our community one Sunday a month. Give yourself a special birthday gift by volunteering for the 4th Sunday of your birthday month, or choose another month. We encourage families to volunteer. Contact us at the email below and we’ll send you a website sign-up link to volunteer.

Date & time              4th Sundays

Place        Plymouth Hall

Contact        soupkitchen@firstcong.net or via Quick Links on The FCCB Weekly Update


Looking for ways to be helpful in the First Congregational UCC family?  The Board of Parish Life operates three caring ministries called:

THE MEAL TRAIN - providing meals to members in times of need on an occasional basis

THE CARE TRAIN - sending cards or making phone calls to members in times of need

THE RIDE TRAIN         - providing rides to church or appointments to members who need this help

You will receive email notification and specific information as needs arise among church members.  If you are able, you can respond and make a difference.  Sign-ups to participate occur during Fellowship Hour or by calling Amalia Hurtado or Gail McDougle.

Contact        Amalia Hurtado 720-352-3567,  Gail McDougle 720-226-8337



Together Colorado is a nonpartisan, multi-racial and multi-faith community organization working to place human dignity at the center of public life in Colorado. This group is for those who are interested in opportunities to work with people from many traditions to put faith in practice in areas of social justice.


Date & Time: TBD

Place: Pedro’s Office

Contact: Pedro Silva pedro@firstcong.net


The purpose of this ministry is to intentionally serve as the hands and feet of Christ to one another.  Offering the ministry of Presence for those who are sick, shut in, or otherwise unable to come to weekly worship services or participate in church activities.  Our gatherings are designed as a mini-retreat for reflection, spiritual deepening, and encouragement of the visitors.  We also read books to guide us on the journey.  

Date & Time:          Last Tuesday of the month, 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Place:                Rm. 314 FAITH Center

Contact:                Pedro Silva, pedro@firstcong.net



This group will explore the book “The Great Spiritual Migration, How the World’s Largest Religion is Seeking a Better Way to be Christian”, by Brian McLaren.  We are asking everyone to read the book in October and early November.  We will get together at the Church on Sunday evening November 11th for a time of fellowship, eating and discussion.  After dinner, we will discuss the entire book, with opportunity for everyone to speak on the part of the book that they found most interesting, frustrating, compelling, or touching.  The schedule for the evening is:  5:00 – Contemplative Service in the Chapel, 5:45 – Gather for the Potluck, 6:00 – Potluck, 6:30 – Discussion on the book, We plan to finish around 7:30.

Date & Time:          Sunday, November 11th 5:00 p.m.

Place:                Chapel

Contact:                Charles Rastle, cmrastle@comcast.net

BOOK STUDY – “Switch:  How to Change Things When Change is Hard”

Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our lives, in our communities, and where we work?  Authors Chip & Dan Heath bring together decades of counterintuitive research in psychology, sociology, and other fields to shed new light on how we can effect transformative change.  We’ll use the concepts in the book, experiential exercises, and personal reflection to explore the change challenges in our lives, wherever we might find them!  

Date & Time:        Tuesdays,October 23, October 30, November 6, 7:00pm – 8:30pm        

Place:  Faith Center, Classroom 312

Contact:  Eric Malmborg, 303-885-4562, e.malmborg@comcast.net


Have you ever asked yourself, “What’s the meaning of my life?” Are you curious about where God is leading you next? Do you wonder about how to deepen the connection between your faith and your everyday life? Join Chris Braudaway-Bauman and Lorraine Leist for Called to Life, a six week series, drawing on resources developed by the Collegeville Institute in Minnesota.  To learn more visit www.called-to-life.com 

Date & time: Thursdays, January 3- February 7, 5:30-7:00

Place: Heritage Room

Contact:  Chris Braudaway-Bauman, chris@firstcong.net 


Over the two millennium of Christianity, visual artists have tried to capture and share their understanding of God and passages of the Bible through their work. As an exercise in expanding our understanding of the Scriptures, this Adult Sunday School class will reflect on one of the lectionary Bible readings through the artist’s lens.

Date:  To Be Announced.  Look for updates in the Weekly Update and Church Bulletin

Time:  9:30 a.m. (Meeting in the Middle)

Place: Standish Room

Contact:  Mark K. Meyer 303-993-6484, mc_meyer@sbcglobal.net


Brown Bag Lunch and Book Discussion

Parker Palmer’s latest book, On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity & Getting Old, presents his insights and ideas on  “life-giving” ways to engage in the world as we age.  Palmer says: “Age itself is no excuse to wade in the shallows.  It’s a reason to dive deep and take creative risks.”  
Join Jean Abbott, Heather LeMasurier, and Deborah Voss for a brown bag lunch and book discussion.  Bring your lunch and join us for 1 or all sessions! 

Date & time         Mondays, October 15, 22, November 5, 12, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Place        Heritage Room, FAITH Center

Contact                Jean Abbott, jabbott49@gmail.com


Looking for a way to meditate and, at the same time, improve your muscle strength, flexibility, and balance? Tai Chi is a gentle, non-strenuous way to build a stronger body-mind-spirit connection. First Cong's long-running Tai Chi class led by Virginia Schultz meets on Mondays from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. in the Chapel in the FAITH Center. Be advised to dress in loose clothing and light footwear (in a pinch, bring your slippers!) for maximum comfort. Designed for everyone from beginners up--this class is a wonderful way to start the week. You can start the Tai Chi class at any time. The cost is $10.00 per class.

Instructor: Virginia Schultz
Date & time: Mondays, September 10 - October 15 (6 classes) and October 29 - December 10 (6 classes), 9:30-10:30 am
Place: Chapel, FAITH Center

Contact:  Keith Lance keithlance@comcast.net


I invite you to join the church’s yoga community, where you’ll use the yoga asanas to practice balance, relieve stress, connect deeply with yourself and engage in the challenge of stretching body, mind and spirit. This year-round class has been meeting since 2011, when I first began teaching yoga. The only pre-requisite is a willingness to grow. You’re also welcome to a free guided meditation from 5-5:20.

Instructor        Diana Shellenberger, diana.shellenberger@gmail.com , 303-856-4830

Date & time              Wednesdays, 5:30-7pm

Place        Grace Gallery, FAITH Center (west end of church basement)

Price        $10 per session