UCG Fall 2017 Small Group Registration
UCG's Small Group Program is an unusually diverse and rich set of offerings that strengthens our community through shared experiences. It continues to thrive only through the thoughtful engagement of both leaders and participants. We hope that you will find within these pages some offerings that fit your interests and schedule this fall. Registering for a small group signals your firm commitment to attend all sessions, thereby honoring the strong offering of time and energy made by each leader. If you cannot commit to the full duration of a certain group, please refrain from registering and allow someone else to take your place. And if you have ideas for future groups, or are moved to lead one yourself, by all means let the Small Group Committee know! Let’s keep growing this program together.

* Fill out your name and contact information
* Sign-up only one person at a time; Couples please fill out separate forms
* Scroll through the list of groups and check the box for each one you would like to participate in
* Click "submit" at the very bottom of the page
* You will receive a confirmation email that your registration was submitted successfully
* You will be contacted again with further confirmation after registration ends

Sign up one person at a time. If couples sign up together we will assume you are both taking the same groups.

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Friday Morning Contemplative Prayer
Friday morning prayer is a meaningful way to bring the week to a close before the week-end begins. As we gather in the Chapel, we sit in silence and quiet meditation. Using John Philip Newell’s Celtic Treasure as our resource, we share a scripture passage, a resonating poem and prayers. Then we meet in small groups of three or four to reflect on those readings and to pray for one another, carrying that prayer forward into the week ahead. Following a short blessing and singing “Alleluia” together, we end promptly at 8:45. The leadership is shared by participants who volunteer.
This group is open to anyone - you are welcome to attend as often as you wish.

Leader: Sandy Reimer
Dates: Fridays, ongoing
Time: 8:00am - 8:45am
Place: UCG Chapel

Live Oak Sangha
A Sangha is a community that lives and practices in harmony and awareness. We are guided, supported, and encouraged by the Dharma teachings of the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh. Our practice is the cultivation of mindfulness, out of which arises understanding, joy, compassion, and transformation. As a Sangha, our practice is made up of many elements such as listening to the bell, walking meditation, smiling, embracing our suffering, mindful breathing, sitting meditation, and singing. If you would like to join us on Wednesday evenings, all that we ask is that you have some familiarity with Thich Nhat Hanh (perhaps have read one of his many books) and be truly interested in mindfulness practice. And if you decide to join us, we hope you will come to find and enjoy safe refuge in this humble and noble Sangha. As space is limited, you will be contacted by the group facilitator prior to attending.

Leader: Mark Burlingame
Dates: Wednesdays, ongoing
Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Place: UCG Sanctuary
Limit: This is an ongoing group which has been meeting for several years with limited space available for new members. The group leader will contact all those interested in participating.

Swamp Sangha
Swamp Sangha is an independent mindfulness meditation group that meets weekly in the UCG Chapel. Join us for 30 minutes of meditation followed by a short reading and discussion and/or some mindful movement (qi gong, breathing exercises, or gentle "street clothes" yoga.) On the first Friday of each month, instruction and practice tips are the focus of the meeting. The sangha is free and all are welcome.
“I enter a swamp as a sacred place, a sanctum sanctorum… I seemed to have reached a new world, so wild a place…far away from human society. What’s the need of visiting far-off mountains and bogs, if a half-hour’s walk will carry me into such wildness and novelty.” – Henry David Thoreau

Co-Leaders: Nancy Wright, Anne Seraphine, Nancy Lasseter, and Darrell Hartman
Dates: Fridays, ongoing
Time: 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Place: UCG Chapel

One-Day Silent Meditation Retreat
Thich Nhat Hanh writes “To take care of ourselves is to take care of our whole community” and “If you can stop and establish yourself in the here and the now, you will see there are many elements of happiness available in this moment, more than enough for you to be happy.” A one-day silent meditation retreat will be held on Saturday, November 4, 2017. During this retreat, we will examine the nature of and practice the cultivation of the seeds of healing and true happiness. We will enjoy, together, the practices of sitting meditation, walking meditation, a silent meal, mindful movement, deep relaxation, mindful sharing, and mindful listening. There is no cost to attend this retreat although donations will be accepted in the spirit of dana (generosity) and will be used by UCG to support the mission of the church. Bring your own lunch. Once we have confirmed your attendance, you will be contacted and provided additional information about the retreat.

Leaders: Mark Burlingame
Date: Saturday, November 4
Time: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Place: Reimer Hall

Red Letter Christians- the Gospel of Mark
When I was a kid, the Bible I was given in 5th grade was a “red letter” edition, where the words of Jesus were highlighted in red. I believe that today Christianity, from a progressive faith viewpoint, gets a bad rap. In this small group Bible study, we will look at the quotes of Jesus as relayed in the gospel of Mark to see what light and truth they hold for us today. This Bible study is intended to be for spiritual growth and nurture, so come with a prayerful heart and an open mind.

Leader: Andy Bachmann
Date: Thursdays, October 19, 26 and November 2
Time: 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Place: Reimer Hall

Crystal Bowl Concert
In the years I have been playing the bowls, I have come to feel their presence as a beautiful choir. Stress is relieved and the body/system receives a full internal massage. This is an incredible gift to give yourself, preparing you to be the best you can be for the upcoming events of the week. Come as often as you are able. Thank you for your presence.

Leader: Sapphira (Cindy Bergbower)
Dates: 2nd Sundays of the month, ongoing
Time: 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Place: UCG Sanctuary

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support Group
This support group for caregivers and family of those with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia will offer information, resources, opportunities for sharing, and a network of support. This is an ongoing support group, open to the public as well.

Leaders: Lynda Everitt (facilitator), Claudia Barrett, Fonda Eyler, Dar Mikula and Sandy Reimer
Dates: 3rd Tuesdays of the month, ongoing
Time: 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Place: UCG Library

Adult Sunday School with TED
Remember Sunday school? This is different, but not just because it is in the late afternoon. Join us in a once-monthly "Adult Sunday School" featuring internationally renowned TED talks on a variety of religious topics relevant to UCG members. Each session will feature a 20-minute video followed by 30 minutes of large/ small group discussion. We will be able to continue our discussion during the “people’s potluck.” Open to all, regardless of your personal theology; it’s not just for agnostics anymore! Each session stands alone and preparation is not necessary
Among the provocative topics we may be listening to and discussing:
“Religion, Evolution, and the Ecstasy of Self-Transcendence” (J. Haidt)
“When People of Muslim Heritage Challenge Fundamentalism”(Karima Bennoume)
“My Year of Living Biblically” (AJ Jacobs)
“We Can Be Buddhas” (Robert Thurman)
“The Charter for Compassion” (Karen Armstrong)
“The Doubt Essential to Faith” (Lesley Hazelton)

Leaders: Paul and Reisa George
Dates: First Sundays in October, November and December
Time: 4:00pm - 5:15pm
Place: Reimer Hall

The People’s Potluck
Join us on the first Sunday of the month for The People’s Potluck! Come with some food for you and yours and more to share with your fellow UCGer’s for this monthly communal meal. This will take place after Adult Sunday School with TED in October, November and December. Come for the discussions, stay for the food and be with us in community at UCG.

Leaders: Andy Bachmann and Will Dougherty
Dates: First Sundays in October, November and December
Time: 5:30pm
Place: Reimer Hall

White Privilege: Let’s Talk
This small group offers an opportunity to use “White Privilege: A Resource for Transformational Dialogue” from the United Church of Christ that's designed to invite church members to engage in safe, meaningful, substantive, and bold conversations on race. Download the curriculum from http://privilege.uccpages.org/ and join us for lively conversation and deep listening.

Leaders: Joanne LaFramenta and Mary Fukuyama
Dates: Wednesdays, October 4, 11, 18, 25
Time: 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Place: UCG West Wing
Limit: 10

Writing through Race
Confronting issues of white privilege and reflecting on the power of race in our lives can be a complicated and challenging endeavor. One helpful tool suggested by the United Church of Christ is to write our spiritual autobiography, but through the lens of race. Join us in this supportive small group as we confront the issues of privilege and race through our life stories with the healing power of spirit. This group is recommended for anyone participating in the White Privilege small group in October.

Leader: Andy Bachmann
Dates: Thursdays, September 21 and 28
Time: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: West Wing

Writing From Within
Join fellow UCG congregants for this small group focused on advancing your talent to put pen-to-paper, and write from within. Thought- provoking prompts will be given, then about 20 minutes of writing, followed by optional sharing. Bring a journal if you wish. Paper and pens will be available.

Leader: Mary Crummer
Dates: Thursdays, September 28 and October 5
Times: 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Place: Room 9

The Mindfulness Map
Mindfulness practices have gained worldwide popularity as techniques to manage thoughts and emotions. Yet many feel that trying to stay mindful can be much like an attempt to "herd cats." The creation of a "Mindfulness Map" provides a concrete visual image to identify where the mind is, especially in moments of disturbance (anxiety, resentments, etc.), and where we'd prefer for it to be and how to get it there. This is done by cultivating witness consciousness and using redirection to guide the mind toward more positive and/or productive thoughts. We will also look at advanced spiritual states characterized either by deep stillness and/or God consciousness (“Be Still and Know That I Am God,” Psalm 46:10), and discuss paths and practices that can lead to those experiences.

Leader: Joyce Orr
Dates: Thursdays October 5, 12, and 19
Time: 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Place: Joyce Orr's Office (4131 NW 28th Lane, Suite 5)
Limit: 12 participants

Basic Yoga Practice for Balance
Join experienced yoga instructor Ann Gill for a basic yoga practice focused on balance poses in standing, sitting and lying down positions as well as basic breath practice that balances our body and mind. The word "Balance" can be elusive and yet this practice is specific. It helps us to slow down, develop greater internal awareness and calm our nervous systems. We will use the wall, chair, bricks and blankets for support. You will need to bring an exercise or yoga mat and a blanket. Open to everybody regardless of age, physical condition and experience in yoga. Three practices of 1 1/2 hours each. This a cumulative practice and you must attend all three Sundays.

Leader: Ann Gill
Dates: Sundays, September 3, 10, and 17
Time: 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Place: Reimer Hall

Basic Yoga for Balance is no longer accepting participants.
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Urban Sketching
Urban Sketching is an action oriented event much like Plein Air Painting. The best way to gain skill with such a subject is to get outside and just do it! Going to various ‘urban settings’ in the Gainesville area (Hippodrome area, UF campus small courtyards, Town of Tioga, Micanopy) we will move along the street and stop to quickly sketch at a few predetermined locations. Then participants will throw down' their sketches onto the pavement after each stop and have a group critique. (A bit like a 'pin up').
Work will initially be done in pen and ink. Color may be added later.
The Hippodrome is the first location; others will be decided by the group.

Leader: Ron Hasse
Dates: First meeting Saturday, September 23; subsequent dates will be decided by group
Times: 10:00am - 12:00pm
Place: The Hippodrome State Theater
Limit: 8

Baby Quilts to Donate
This group will provide much-needed quilts to the smallest members of our community - babies! We will meet each Monday morning to work on quilts to donate for use by local families in need. All ability levels are welcome. We will provide a supply list, and teaching materials (for those that need it!) Bring your own supplies/tools for sewing and quilting.

Leader: Abby Hogan and Anne Taylor
Date: Mondays, September 11 - October 30
Times: 9:00 am – 12:00pm
Location: Anne's house (32 SW 41st St)

Grace Marketplace
Join us as we prepare and serve a meal at the Grace Marketplace. Volunteers can help by simply contributing food or by joining us at Grace for the service of the meal. Sign-up now to express your interest and we will contact you when the dates are finalized. Thank you!

Leader: Dawn Beachy
Date: Fridays, September 22 and December 22
Time: TBA
Place: UCG Kitchen and Grace Marketplace

Family Promise
Four times a year, UCG becomes a home to families in transition. We need lots of volunteers to help with everything from preparing the church to be a cozy home to providing meals for our guests. We need all the help we can get, to share the love of UCG with our friends in need. Sign-up now to express your interest and we will contact you when we’re ready to sign-up specific jobs.

Leader: Dawn Beachy
Dates: The week of October 29 through November 5
Times: various
Place: UCG

Banner Saviors, Part I
Our beloved banners are in need of some TLC. Some need a little repair here and there, others may need major reinforcement. We hope to gather a group of folks who can evaluate their condition, then repair and restore them. Some may need to be "adopted" for a while and go home with you to be restored to their original glory. All skill levels are welcome, everything from quilting and appliqué, to pressing and replacing the dowels. If you love our banners, please join us to keep this part of our heritage in good shape for the future. (If you can't join us on the scheduled dates, you can still assist us with the repairs. Please write a note on the registration form.)

Leader: Phoebe Papadi and Dawn Beachy
Dates: Thursdays, October 26 and November 9
Times: 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Place: Seminar C

Join us on October 14, 2017 for a one-mile walk (however known) with NAMI Gainesville to show support for people affected by mental illness. We will be meeting at Depot Park Saturday morning. Sign up now. More information to follow via email.

Leader: Judy Broward
Date: Saturday, October 14, 2017
Time: 9:00am
Place: Depot Park

Courtyard and Parking Lot Gardening
Join other UCG folks as we do some fall gardening and landscaping, to beautify the courtyard and parking lot. Vine pulling, weeding, pruning, planting, it will all happen during a crisp fall Saturday morning. We will have tools available, or you can bring your own.

Leader: Erick Smith
Dates: Saturday, October 21
Times: 8:00am - 12:00pm
Place: UCG Parking Lot

Energy Coach Training with the Community Weatherization Coalition
Learn how to put into practice some of the key elements – EDUCATION, EMPATHY AND ACTION – of UCG’s three-year community outreach plan! Founded in 2007 by UCG members and other community partners to train volunteers to conduct home energy/water use audits in low-income Gainesville neighborhoods, the Community Weatherization Coalition is part of the ministry of UCG, helping to carry out over 800 home energy/water tune-ups that have saved local residents hundreds of thousands of dollars on their monthly utility bills. All are invited to attend this seminar and become Community Weatherization Coalition “Energy Coaches” by participating in a training program in October. All skill levels are welcome! There is a $35 processing fee for the course.

Leader: Marianne Schmink
Date: Thursdays, October 5 & 12, and Saturday, October 14
Times: Oct. 5 & 12; 5:30pm – 8:30 pm Oct. 14; 9:00am – 3:00pm
Place: Reimer Hall and offsite for October 14
Limit: 25 participants

Rebuilding Together
Join fellow UCGer’s as we do a little theology with our sleeves rolled up through the program Rebuilding Together. We will be matched with a homeowner and tasked with doing home assistance and repairs to make their homes more livable. Work days will likely be three Saturdays in October, with a typical workday running from about *8 am-3 pm. Sign up today to learn more!

Leader: Tom Bergbower
Dates: Three Saturdays in October, specific dates TBA
Place: TBA

* subject to change

Ukulele Club of Gainesville
The Ukulele Club of Gainesville is an ongoing, year-round group that is open and welcoming, happy to have new members of every skill level at any time of the year. Beginners meet separately to learn the chords and strumming patterns before joining the main group to practice various songs. We enjoy several opportunities to play for the congregation and the wider community during the year, and regularly share information about other ukulele-related local events. Like us on Facebook to see our photos and news!

Leader: Mary Fukuyama
Dates: 1st and 3rd Mondays, ongoing
Time: 7:00-8:30pm
Place: UCG Sanctuary

Sunday Afternoon at the HIPP
Let’s go to the Hippodrome on Sunday afternoon and watch a film together. After, we’ll have dinner at Liquid Ginger for fellowship and a chance to talk about the film. Participating in this group requires some flexibility. The title of the film will probably not be confirmed until a week before our scheduled date. The showing time will not be confirmed until the Tuesday preceding our Sunday gathering, at the earliest.

Leader: Carol Sarisky
Date: Sundays, Sept. 17, Oct. 15, Nov. 12, and Dec. 17.
Time: TBA
Place: Hippodrome Theater Cinema, Liquid Ginger
Limit: 30 participants
Cost: Members will pay for their own film tickets and dinners.

Travel Camping
Are you feeling guilty because you haven’t taken your children to see the Grand Canyon, or been surrounded by a herd of buffalo at Yellowstone? Or maybe you have a hankering to follow the Oregon Trail or the Lewis & Clark Expedition? Come join experienced UCG travelers who have camped their way across Europe and North America (with children) in tents, pop-up campers and small travel trailers to discuss traveling and camping issues and experiences. We will meet two times: once to review the logistics of camping, and a second time for some hands-on equipment demonstrations.

Leader: Peter & Holly Prugh
Date: Sunday, November 5, one other meeting TBD
Time: 1:00-3:00pm
Place: UCG East Parking Lot

Off Road Biking (In Florida!!)
North Florida doesn’t have any mountains, but we have a surprising abundance of great trails on which we can ride our mountain bikes. Join this small group to learn a little bit about what to bring on your off - road bike rides, and to ride with other UCGers on some local trails. No experience is necessary, but you’ll need to have a bike in working order and robust enough to ride off pavement.

Leader: Tim Martin, Taylor Stein, Rob White
Dates: Saturdays, October 14, November 4, December 2
Times: TBD
Place: San Felasco, Sweetwater Reserve, TBD (in that order)

Poetry and Potluck
You are invited to bring a poem and potluck dish you would like to share with this small group. Your poem may be one you’ve always loved, just found, or have written - serious or funny. We will meet once, on Tuesday, September 19th at 5:30 at the home of Tricia Gregory. The group is limited to 10. All participants need to bring 10 copies of their poem, a potluck dish, and, if desired, a favorite beverage. Beans and rice will be provided.

Leader: Patricia Gregory
Date: Tuesday, September 19th
Time: 5:30pm - 8:00pm
Place: Home of Tricia Gregory (Millhopper Area)
Limit: 10 participants

Adoption Potluck/Fellowship
Brandon and Lindsey Telg invite anyone in any stage of the adoption journey to their home for a series of potluck dinners and casual fellowship. All are welcome including adoptive parents/relatives, foster parents, those considering foster/adoption, those who are adopted, and any other "categories" we might have missed. The focus will not necessarily be on discussing adoption related topics at each gathering, but rather providing a safe space for meeting new friends on the journey, connecting to others who might be resources along the way and having a place to connect. Potluck meals will be simple appetizer style. Children of all ages are welcome! We will host three gatherings at our home and we ask that you commit to at least two.

Leader: Brandon and Lindsey Telg
Date: Saturdays September 23, October 7, October 28
Time: 5:30pm – 7:00pm
Location: Brandon and Lindsey Telg's house (Forest of the Unicorn, NW area)

Christianity as Depicted in Art
Have you ever wondered how Christianity got to be the religion that it is today? How could the movement that was started by a carpenter’s son and a covey of fishermen become the official religion of the Roman Empire in 300 years, and then the dominant religion of the Western world? Why did the Good Shepherd Jesus become Jesus on the Cross? Why was the pacifism of Jesus replaced with the concept of the “Just War”? This small group will offer some answers and challenge you to find explanations though an exploration of art forms through the ages. There will be three sessions: I: Mystery Religions of the Greco-Roman World. 2: The Art and Architecture of the Early Christian World and What They Reveal about Early Christianity. 3: “Things Fall Apart; the Center Cannot Hold": Descent into the Middle Ages.

Leader: Lois McNamara
Date: Mondays September 25, October 2, October 9
Time: 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Place: Seminar B

The Armor of Light Film Screening & Discussion
From director Abigail Disney, “The Armor of Light” tracks Reverend Rob Schenck, an anti-abortion activist and fixture on the political far right, who breaks with orthodoxy by questioning whether being pro-gun is consistent with being pro-life. Along the way, he meets Lucy McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis, an unarmed teenager whose murder in Florida has cast a spotlight on “Stand Your Ground” laws. ARMOR follows these unlikely allies through their trials of conscience, heartbreak and rejection, as they bravely attempt to make others consider the growing toll of gun violence in America through a moral lens. In this courageous look at our fractured political culture, an Evangelical minister and the mother of a teenage shooting victim come together across deep party lines to find common ground.
We will watch the film in its entirety (88 mins), take a short break, then hold a discussion that includes updates on the law and what we can do to prevent gun violence.

Leader: Catherine Cake
Date: Sunday, November 19
Time: 3:00pm - 5:00pm
Place: Sanctuary

Help plan and build the UCG Pride Parade Float
Each year, UCG’s Open and Affirming Committee organizes UCG’s participation in the Gainesville Area Pride Festival, which includes marching in the Pride Parade and a colorful UCG Float. Join with the ONA Committee for a couple hours one Wednesday evening to plan the float, and for another two hours on the Friday before the parade to construct the float. Then join us to March for Pride!

Leader: Tim Martin
Date: Wednesday, Oct. 4; Friday, Oct. 20; Saturday, Oct. 21
Time: Oct. 4; 7:00pm - 9:00pm, Oct. 20; 5:30pm - 7:30pm, Oct. 21; 10:00am
Place: UCG Room 8, Pride Parade (Oct. 21)

Entr'acte Players
We know there are musicians in our midst who have never had the opportunity to share their music at UCG as well as musicians who don’t play for us as often who are ready to share. Our purpose is to get to know one other and provide mutual support and encouragement.
We invite musicians of all ages and skill levels to perform for a small, loving, accepting audience in the sanctuary between services on three designated Sundays. Each musician or group of musicians can sign up to play for a 5 to 7-minute time slot between 10:35 and 11:05. We will be just playing for each other. Slipsies and do-overs are allowed.
A 35- minute interval between services would allow 5 to 7 performances on each Sunday. All performers would be asked to stay to be an audience for everyone performing that day. An organizational meeting and sign up will be held on the first Sunday. Let’s have some fun making music!

Leader: Ruth Saunders
Date: September 10 for the organizational meeting, October 1, 15, and 29 for the performances
Time: 10:30am - 11:05am (between services)
Place: Sanctuary

Playback Theater
Join us for an introduction to community building through story-telling using theatre techniques. Specifically, Playback Theatre. This small group will give participants another tool for self-expression, engender spontaneity and fun through improv and allow for personal and community meaning-making.
Each session includes: Warm-ups and icebreakers, movement and reflection, each week has a different theme, culminating in the creation of a short performance for an audience using short forms. Participants will be invited to join the Igniting Stories Playback Theatre for more training and performance opportunities.

Leader: Ann Kinnebrew
Date: Mondays, September 4, 11, 18 and 25
Time: 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Place: Room 5-6
Limit: 20 participants

UCG has had a long-standing tradition of holding TGIF get-togethers at members’ homes. The host provides glasses and plates, soft drinks, and starter beer and wine. We will make sure an announcement appears in the newsletter, bulletin, and This Sunday at UCG as a reminder. No need to sign up, just come and bring a finger food and your beverage of choice.

Time: 6:30-8:30pm
Dates and Locations:
Friday, September 29: Andy and Tracy Bachmann’s House
Friday, October 6: Ron and Mary Nutter’s House
Friday,TBD: Jim and Karen Archer’s House

Love a Good Mystery Book Club
Mystery lovers can now can get their fix and share the experience with others in a book club that began Fall of 2015 and continues strong. Group members determine the book choices by group consensus. We may also choose to make use of themes such as selections from a single author or series, classical mysteries as well as more contemporary, contrasting central characters. The initial book choice is Bruce Alexander’s “Blind Justice,” the first of the series that revolves around the blind judge, Sir John Fielding, and the first official London police department, the “Bow Street Runners.

Leader: Keith Berg
Dates: 3rd Wednesday of the month beginning September 20
Time: 7:30pm
Location: Rotating among different member’s homes.
Limit: Up to 2 new members

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