Walking in the Way of Love is hard. Especially when there is so much fear, anxiety, hate and violence spinning all around us these days. Here at UCW, we are companions on a journey, fellow seekers, teaching, learning, supporting, challenging and guiding each other in non judgmental community of care and compassion. We seek to grow in love of God, self and neighbor and strengthen our call to discipleship so that we may be beacons of hope, sources of comfort, fonts of inspiration, and ambassadors of love, in this beautiful but wounded world.
As such, in addition to weekly worship, there are many small groups that provide an opportunity to strengthen relationship and to deepen and explore faith. These opportunities are detailed below. Pastor Stacy always welcomes new ideas and suggestions, so if there is something you would like to engage or explore that you do not see below, do not hesitate to reach out to her.
Sunday Morning Bible Discussion
We gather every Sunday from 8 – 9:00 am to study scripture and reflect on how God’s word informs our living today. Instead of following a curriculum, we simply choose a book of the Bible and read it out loud together, pausing as we do to reflect on what the text is saying and how it may impact our lives today. No previous Bible study or Biblical literacy is needed. Come every Sunday or come when you can. All are welcome. We are holding Bible study at this time so as to not conflict with choir rehearsal at 9:00 a.m. Please consider making a morning of it – Bible Study, Choir and then Worship!
This fall the book group is going to delve into the topic of race and racial injustice through the lens of two widely acclaimed books, “Real American, a memoir” by Julie Lythcott-Haims and “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison.
September 24th, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m “Real American, a memoir” by Julie Lythcott-Haims. “A compelling, incisive and thoughtful examination of race, origin and what it means to be called an American. Engaging, heartfelt and beautifully written, Lythcott-Haims explores the American spectrum of identity with refreshing courage and compassion.” Bryan Stevenson, New York Times bestselling author of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
October 29th, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m – Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. A first novel by an unknown writer, it remained on the bestseller list for sixteen weeks, won the National Book Award for fiction, and established Ralph Ellison as one of the key writers of the century. The nameless narrator of the novel describes growing up in a black community in the South, attending a Negro college from which he is expelled, moving to New York and becoming the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of “the Brotherhood”, and retreating amid violence and confusion to the basement lair of the Invisible Man he imagines himself to be. The book is a passionate and witty tour de force of style, strongly influenced by T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, Joyce, and Dostoevsky.
Lunch Bunch is our monthly small group ministry for those who have some flexibility during the day to gather for good food and conversation. Lunch bunch is for people of all ages as we take time around the table to share our lives together. Lunch is provided and transportation can be arranged.
Wellspring is our women’s group. We gather on the third Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. for a shared meal, candle lighting as we check in about what is on our hearts and a thematic conversation. Wellspring is a wonderful small group ministry for those women who may be seeking deeper connection to community and God.
Java Gents is an informal monthly breakfast hour for the men of the UCW congregation. It provides friendly fellowship and mutual support to the men.. Buz Bedford cooks up a full, hot breakfast. Jay O’Beirne hosts the lively discussion of timely topics, and personal goings on among the men.
Java gents usually meets the third Friday of each month in the church reception room at 7am.
Norwood Health Worship
On the third Thursday of the month UCW and the Norwood Health Center share in worship together. We gather with residents in the Norwood Health Center’s activity room as we sing, reflect on scripture, pray and partake of communion together. This is a Spirit filled time of loving fellowship and praise filled worship. Everyone is welcome.
January Bible Study – Exploring Justice/Respect
Beginning January 15 and running for 6 consecutive Wednesdays (skipping February 5th) we will be piloting the second volume in the Exploring Justice: The Ten Commandments series written by Rev. Anne Robertson of the Massachusetts Bible Society. We will be meeting from 10:30 – noon.
“The theme that unites the commandment to remember the Sabbath and the command to honor our parents is respect. In this, the second volume of Exploring Justice: The Ten Commandments, we will learn what the Bible means by “rest” by first understanding what the Bible means by “work.” We will then look at issues surrounding the dignity of work since the Industrial Revolution, including the labor movement, income inequality, the minimum wage, and why no historian is surprised that we’re debating Socialism in the U.S. today. With a new understanding of work, we’ll go on to show how adding a day of rest—for all people, animals, and even the land—helps us to fulfill the Great Commandment. As we respect others in our work and ourselves on the Sabbath, we then move to learn what it means to respect our origins, from our biological parents to Mother Earth and all those both past and present who have helped to make us who we are. From healthcare to land management, Anti-Semitism to Reparations, we’ve got you covered.”