Summer Small Groups 2021

Now in its fifth year, First Church Berkeley’s Summer Small Groups program offers exciting opportunities to learn, explore and play together! Five different groups are available with several others forming, covering a range of interests and providing opportunities to deepen our connections with God and with each other. Times, locations and leaders for each group are listed in the descriptions below.

To sign up for a group, contact the group leader directly via email listed in the description. For questions, email Congregational Care Program Manager Louise Halsey at [email protected].

Dinner Picnics for Families in Berkeley Gail ([email protected]) & Sean Poust ([email protected]

Bring yourselves, your kids (all ages welcome), a picnic, and park toys and games to share (bubbles, sidewalk chalk, balls, Frisbees, etc.) as we’ll gather to eat, talk, play and get to know each other on four Sunday evenings this summer. We’ll meet at James Kenney Park (1720 Eighth St, Berkeley, CA 94710).  Join us for all, one, or some. RSVP to Gail & Sean so they’ll know you’ll be joining.

Sunday evenings, 5:00-7:00 pm: July 25, Aug. 15 & 29, Sept. 12 

Exploring the EnneagramSara Woods ([email protected])

The Enneagram is an ancient tool and wisdom about human development that has continued to develop into the modern world with personality now incorporated into it. By understanding your own type and using the tool and framework to help you on a personal and spiritual growth path, you can begin to develop awareness about your own False Self and find ways to connect to your True Self. The group will listen to podcasts with teachers and topics that explore the Enneagram’s types and how to use the Enneagram as a dynamic and transformational tool. Whether you know your type, are still discerning, or are a total newbie, the group will offer opportunities for everyone to share their thoughts and their own learning in a supportive and intentional community. Meetings will be on Zoom and if there is interest, then a final group meeting could be an in-person gathering.

*If Zoom or the times offered don’t work for you and you have interest, email Sara to discuss other options. 

Tuesday evenings, 7:30-9:00 pm, June 29, July 6, 20, 27, Aug. 3 – on Zoom

Exploring Compassionate CommunicationLouise Halsey ([email protected]) & Jim Coates

Join us as we explore the nonviolent communication teachings of Dr. Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD, as outlined in his book Nonviolent Communication: a Language of Life. “NVC is founded on language and communication skills that strengthen our ability to remain human, even under trying circumstances,” explains Rosenberg. This group will begin to practice these skills with the intention of creating more connection – to ourselves, to others and to the world. We’ll explore some key assumptions of NVC: “all actions are attempts to meet needs” and “everyone’s needs matter.” If you are new to these teachings, we encourage you to join all the sessions as they build upon each other.

Wednesday evenings, 6:30-8:30 pm, Aug. 4, 11, 18, 25 – on Zoom

Men’s Group Four Summer MondaysNick Kukulan ([email protected])

If you joined the Men’s retreats in March and April, the idea is to follow a similar program with the intention of getting to know other men in the First Church Community, and to share some vital questions.

  • Welcome and Centering Time
  • Sharing on a specific question in groups of 4-5
  • Closing circle

Monday evenings, 7:00-8:30 pm, July 26, Aug. 2, 9, 16 – on Zoom

Backyard Summer Singalongs – Rev. Kelly Colwell ([email protected])

Join Rev. Kelly and Hope Hilton for a series of summer singalongs! We’ll meet in Rev. Kelly’s backyard in South Berkeley to sing together. Bring your smartphone to look up words to things and your favorite songs—we can do camp songs, church songs, folk songs, up to you! Just a chance to enjoy making music with others after a long year of not being able to. We’ll stay outdoors unless we have terrible weather, and if you’re vaccinated it’s mask-optional.  All ages welcome, please ask for accessibility information if you need it.

Thursday evenings: 7:00-8:00 pm, July 8, 22, and Aug 12 – Rev. Kelly’s Backyard