Throughout the year, in-depth classes are offered to learn and examine our spiritual practices and help us grow in faith.
The focus may include different methods of prayer, different approaches to Bible study, personal and group discernment, the path of forgiveness, learning discipleship, and receiving grace.
Classes are held Sunday morning during the Education Hour at 9:00 a.m.
“Who Was That Guy?”
Wheeler Room: Adult & Youth Education
January 1 ~ February 26
This study will be based on a book by the late Marcus Borg, Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture at Oregon State University, entitled Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, and may just change your mind–and your life–in relation to who Jesus really was and what following him in today’s world is all about. First published in 1994, this extraordinary book combines Borg’s original scholarly insight, profound spirituality, and unusual capacity to connect it all to life in the present.
Together, we will explore three important questions:
(1) Who was Jesus and what shaped him into the person he became?
(2) What was the content and method of Jesus’s teaching and why did it attract some to follow him and drive others to crucify him? and
(3) What does discipleship mean for us as we struggle to live faithfully in today’s world?
Ultimately, Jesus is not simply a figure of the past, but a figure of the present. Meeting that Jesus–the living one who comes to us even now–will be like meeting Jesus again for the first time. All classes will be held in the Wheeler Room and will be facilitated by Don Gall and Pastor Jonathan. This class will run throughout the Season of Epiphany to the beginning of Lent.
Handouts for class:
- Class 1 – “The Jesus We Thought We Knew”
- Class 2 – “Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up!”
- January 22, Class 3 – “Jesus as Spirit Person”
- January 29, Class 4 –“Jesus and the Power of the Spirit”
- February 5, Class 5 – “Jesus and the Politics of Compassion”
- February 12, Class 6 – “Jesus: Teacher of Alternative Wisdom”
- February 19, Class 7 – “Jesus as Prophet”
- February 26, Class 8 – “Jesus as Movement Founder”
We Are Family
Are you interested in learning more about First Congregational Church and membership? “Exploring FCC” classes are offered during Fall, Winter, and Spring. All persons interested are invited to an informational gathering the first week. Then in the following weeks, classes will be held at 9:00 a.m. in the Barber Room, with the opportunity for joining the church at the conclusion of the series. Please contact the church office or a staff member with questions at 541-345-8741.
Periodic thought provoking topics are presented for a few weeks at a time on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Check out the Wednesday Night Connections page for the current class schedule.
Spiritual Direction at First Congregational UCC
Spiritual Direction is a confidential relationship with a trained guide, to reflect on our spiritual journey and help us become more aware of the presence and activity of the Holy in our lives.
There is no area of human life in which God is uninterested, no corner of it to which God is not present, and therefore, no aspect of life which would be a foreign or inappropriate matter to bring to a conversation with a Spiritual Director. In the midst of a busy life, many people find it difficult to notice God’s action in their daily affairs. Yet, at the deepest level, all of us long for a more conscious experience of God’s presence.
Spiritual Direction is a way to invite God into our joys and broken places and to grow spiritually. It can be experienced as a one time trial, once a month for an extended period of time, or whatever works in a person’s life.
Spiritual Direction can help you with issues of :
- Grief and loss
- Healing the past
- Learning to forgive
- Peace of mind
Spiritual Direction is offered by Suzanne Congdon to church members at no charge. If you are interested, please call Suzanne at 541-343-0817.
Companions in Christ
Refresh your soul with a new Companions in Christ class this year! It will be offered Wednesdays beginning in October from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. in the Chapel with Pastor Janet and Suzanne Congdon as facilitators. Here is what participants in the last class have to say:
“In this small group you will have the opportunity to test your assumptions about God and the Bible and explore new ways of praying and discerning. Perhaps most importantly, you will be able to connect on a more genuine and intimate way with God and your brothers and sisters at FCC.”
“This is a blessed experience. It will likely reinforce practices you already follow and introduce you to new approaches in your relationship with God.”
“You will grow in ways that you have yet to discover and you will be supported in doing that by the other men and women in the group.”
“I felt apart and unworthy; now I know and trust that the loving Creator is present and that breath is Spirit.”
You are invited to this life-changing experience. We will meet weekly for 28 weeks and have about 20 minutes of daily homework. If you have questions, or would like to participate, contact Pastor Janet (541-345-8741) or Suzanne Congdon (541-343-0817) before September 12.
Contemplative/Centering Prayer Group
Thursdays at 11:00 a.m.
Contemplative prayer is a way of making oneself aware of the presence of God, who is always there. This type of prayer tends to be uniting and quite powerful for many in a group setting. True contemplative prayer leads to the experience of God within, which silences other voices that deny our human dignity and a sense of peace and freedom. The purpose of contemplative prayer is to take us deep within in order to rest in God and become more aware of God’s transforming love for us. If you are interested in being part of a weekly contemplative prayer group that will meet for one hour each week, call Pastor Janet.
Disciplines Bible Study Group
Our small group Bible study that follows the Lectionary, “Disciplines”, is open to new participants in September and January, but are closed after the group has begun meeting. The discipline of a daily devotion can be a very fruitful and fulfilling spiritual practice, especially when you combine it with a time for group reflection and caring. Each class is one hour long and meets weekly throughout the year. If you are interested in participating, or have questions, please contact Pastor Janet.
Disciplines 1 Group meets Thursdays at 12:15 p.m.
Disciplines 3 Group meets Wednesday at 3:00 p.m.
Ongoing spiritual nurture is enhanced in community and strengthened by spiritual friendships. This group meets monthly for group support and accountability to encourage and nurture spiritual growth. Contact: Pastor Janet, 541-345-8741.
Men’s Bible Study
Meets each Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. in the Peter Horn Lounge.
All men are invited as the group talks about the upcoming sermon scripture. There’s coffee and great dialogue!
Sojourners Bible Study
Meets Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in the Sojourners Room during the school year.
Study the lectionary text each week with leader, Marti Kersh. All are welcome.
Resources for Past Adult Education Classes
Click the link below for PDFs of past handouts for further study.
WHO WAS THAT GUY?
A Youth/Adult Education class based on Marcus Borg’s book, “Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time”
- Class 1 – “The Jesus We Thought We Knew”
- Class 2 – “Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up!”
- Class 3 – “Jesus as Spirit Person”
- Class 4 –“Jesus and the Power of the Spirit”
- Class 5 – “Jesus and the Politics of Compassion”
- Class 6 – “Jesus: Teacher of Alternative Wisdom”
- Class 7 – “Jesus as Prophet”
- Class 8 – “Jesus as Movement Founder”
REDEFINING THE MEANING OF GOD
A Youth/Adult Education Class Based on John Shelby Spong’s Book
RESURRECTION: MYTH OR REALITY?
- Resurrection: Myth or Reality – Class outline
- Resurrection: Myth or Reality – Definition of terms
- Session 2
- Session 3 – “It happened in Galilee, not Jerusalem”
- Session 4 – “Peter was central to what happened”
- Session 5 – “The Common Meal” and “The Third Day”
- Session 6 – “The Burial Tradition as Myth”
- Session 7 – “Afterword: Life After Death?”
QUESTIONS JESUS ASKED
2016 Lenten Series
- Questions Jesus Asked – Session 1: 100 Questions Jesus Asked
- Questions Jesus Asked – Session 2: Small Groups’ Priority Questions
- Questions Jesus Asked – Session 3: “What is your name?”
- Questions Jesus Asked – Session 4: “Do You See This Woman?”
- Questions Jesus Asked – Session 5: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
AND THE BIBLE SAYS…WHAT?
Fall 2015 – Winter 2016
The Season of Lent 2015
- Session 1 – “The Writing of the Gospels”
- Session 2 – The Gospel According to Mark “Jesus, the Suffering Son of God”
- Session 3 – The Gospel According to Matthew, “Jesus, the Jewish Messiah”
- Session 4 – The Gospel According to Luke “Jesus, the Savior of the World”
- Session 5 – The Gospel According to John “Jesus, the God-Man from Heaven”
- Session 6 – Beyond The Four Gospels “In Search of the Historical Jesus”
THE GREAT QUESTIONS OF LIFE
- Session I – “Does Science Refute God?”
- Session II – “Was God in the ‘Big Bang’?”
- Session III – “What is the ‘Image of God’?”
- Session IV – “Why Are We Here?”
- Session V – “Why Is There Suffering?”
- Session Vl – “Does Prayer Change Anything?”
FOUNDATIONS OF FAITH
An Adult Class on Christian Meanings
- Session I – “Setting the Stage”
- Session II – “GOD”
- Session III – “Jesus”
- Session IV – “Holy Spirit”
- Session V – “Salvation”
- Session VI – “Sin and Grace”
- Session VII – “Mercy & Compassion”
- Session VIII – “Righteousness”
- Session IX – “Believing & Faith”
- Session X – “Joy”
- Session XI – “The Rapture and the Second Coming
- Session XII – “Repentance & Forgiveness”
- Session XIII – “Love”
- Session XIV – “Christmas”