You’re in luck–we are regathering into our 2019 Life Groups right now. This is a great time to meet new spiritual friends! Please consider signing up below…
What are Life Groups?
Life Groups create space within our stressful schedules to experience dynamic spiritual growth together. Through shared spiritual practices we call a Rule of Life, we connect with God through worship, prayer, and Scripture; by doing justice and sharing faith we hope to extend God’s wholeness to the world; in the process, we find deeper connection with each other.
How do I know if a Life Group is for me?
All that’s required to be a part of a life group is a desire to grow, experiment, and share your spiritual journey as you feel comfortable. You don’t need any religious background or knowledge; it’s OK to be seeking what faith looks like for you. All of us are beginners together, just trying to take the next step towards Jesus.
How do I sign up?
- Read the descriptions below and decide which group you want to join.
- Then, sign up using this link.
- After you sign up, the leader of the group will contact you with further details.
Contact Pastor Gary VanderPol (firstname.lastname@example.org)
NEW GROUP! Scripture Study 1
led by: Noelle Fa-Kaji
when & where: TBD
We are looking to do a deep dive into the Old Testament. Envisioning a discussion driven environment walking through a single book (or part of one) for the term.
NEW GROUP! Scripture Study 2
led by: Gary VanderPol
when: Monday and/or Thursday evenings
where: South Berkeley
I am more and more convinced that hearing a single sermon is often not enough for the Word to sink deep into our souls. We’ll gather to take a deeper look at Luke, following along with the sermon series but going places no sermon could go 🙂
NEW GROUP! Welcoming Newcomers
led by: Jodi de la Peña VanderPol
when and where: TBD
Our vision is to partner together in supporting newcomers (refugees, immigrants and asylees). This group will be primarily outward focused and may include participation and coordination of monthly newcomer dinners and events, as well as regular gatherings with colleagues and friends directly working with newcomers who may feel drained and burnt out and may not have a spiritual home from which they act in the world.
NEW GROUP! Sabbath Together
led by: Melissa and Juan Manuel Aldape
when: monthly on the 3rd Saturday, beginning January 19
where: South Berkeley, or in sabbathy places like Redwood Regional Park
Living at our pressure-packed pace, scheduling is more than just a life hack—it’s a spiritual practice that both expresses and shapes our deepest values. This winter and spring, we will experiment together with the ancient biblical practice of Sabbath. Please consider joining us as we restore a spiritual center to our sometimes scattered work, leisure, family and community lives.
DYN 02 – Environmental Justice Learning Community
led by: Gary VanderPol
when: dynamic scheduling, meeting 4x a month as participants’ schedules allow
where: South Berkeley
From the first page of the Bible, God gave us the honor of caring for this very good world. Healing our beautiful but battered planet remains one of our most fundamental callings. Shouldn’t Christians be known for our environmental justice activism? This fall our group will do the hard work of research, asking how a little church like ours can effectively combat a big issue like climate change.
TUE 03 – Spirituality in Everyday Life
led by: Loretta Matty and Erin Schweng
when: Tuesday evenings, 7:30 – 9:00 pm
where: Northwest Berkeley
We have an unstructured approach, but often include worship songs and time for sharing. We attempt to understand and experience Ignatian spirituality as well as engaging with historic and present injustice, especially as it regards race, in our culture.
WED 01 – TnT (Twenties ‘n’ Thirties)
led by: Joyce Lee and Marco Kitagawa Pedroso
when: Wednesdays at 7:30
Are you a young adult in your twenties/thirties in the midst of work, grad school, big decisions, or life transitions? All of the above? Join us as we help each other find God and have a bit of fun along the way.
WED 02 – cwow.justice.action
led by: Deborah and Tim Zenor-Davis
when: Wednesday evenings, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
where: West Berkeley
Each week we gather to dig into Scripture, share our lives and stories, pray, worship, reflect, and laugh a lot. Our justice practice is a focus on educational equity, and over the next six months, we’ll be doing some hands-on activities to partner with local schools, students and families in exciting ways. No experience required–just a heart for the kids and youth of our greater community. Come join us!
WED 03 – Virtual
led by: Jason and Jane Lee
when and where: Wednesday evenings, 8:15 – 9:30 pm
Our group exists to form community and discipleship for people in circumstances that makes attending a weekly, in-person group challenging (e.g., parents of young children). We are an entrepreneurial bunch who will try different technological and logistical approaches to facilitate both remote and in-person discussions, which will be inspired by the sermon series.
WED 04 Luke Study
Led by: Humberto and Gaddy Reyes
When and where: Wednesdays 6:15-7:45 in South Berkeley
Come join us as we dive deep into the gospel of Luke. Dinner included and kids welcome!
WED 05 – Spiritual Direction and Discernment
led by: Sharon Henthorn-Iwane
when: Wednesday evenings, time TBD
God is speaking, but how do I hear him? God is at work, but how do I recognize His activity? God is loving and empowering me, but how do I experience that reality? Are you asking these kinds of questions or do you desire more of God? In the context of group spiritual direction and prayer for each other outside the group, we will form a spiritual community which assists people in ongoing individual discernment. We will meet twice a month in a set group of 6-8 people. Come as you are. No spiritual direction experience necessary!
THU 01 – CWOW Artists’ Collective
led by: Bora Reed and Dan Blanchard
when: dynamic scheduling.
We love Jesus and we appreciate and pursue various forms of art. This semester, the men and women will meet in spiritual direction groups twice a month (high commitment attendance). The whole group will meet monthly for a potluck dinner and to share their works-in-progress.
THU 02 – Justice and Restoration
led by: Ryan Grant and Dana Lundblad
when: Thursday evenings, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Starting with a foundation in what scripture has to say about justice and restoration, with some consideration of issues present in and influencing our criminal justice system, we will serve people entering life after incarceration. This is meant to be an exploration with much learning, experimentation, discovery, and a variety of ways for members to respond. Okay, that all sounds pretty serious. We will also be enjoying life together as we nurture our spiritual lives and eat good snacks.
led by: Kim Winkleman
when: Thursday mornings, 9:45-11:45am
where: West Berkeley
Got time during the day? Join us to study the texts of the sermon series, pray and worship together. We put an emphasis on creating a safe space to share our real selves and what God is up to in our lives.