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Last week I mentioned that Community UCC is starting a new small group ministry. I listed the types of groups and told you who would be facilitating each of them. Today I want to spend a little more time with each group, going into more detail about what you can expect in each one. If any of these piques your interest, and you would like to learn more, simply email me ( ), or call or text me (614.633.9319), or if you see me say, “Hey, Bob!”
Bible Reading group — Garrisson Webb, facilitator. This group will commit to reading through the Bible in the course of a year (special one-year Bibles will be available for a nominal price). They will also get together a couple of times a month to talk about what they have read and spend some time reading selected passages of Scripture together.
Prayer Practices group — Bob Turner, facilitator. If you have ever wanted to explore different approaches to prayer but didn’t know where to start, this group is for you! Twice a month we will gather to learn a variety of prayer practices, including lectio divina, centering prayer, walking meditation, breath prayer, intercession, guided imagery, and more. We will do the prayers together at our meetings and then practice them on our own at home.
Relationship Evangelism Project (REP) support group — Jeff Kistler, facilitator. Those who participate in this group will take part in a full orientation to the concept of relationship evangelism, but for the purposes of this description, REP is a low-intensity form of evangelism in which you share your faith through friendship. You pray for your friend and perform non-random acts of kindness for them, not for any purpose beyond loving them and helping them to experience God’s love. At monthly group meetings members will offer support to one another, discuss ways to share the faith verbally, and pray together.
Anti-hunger group (starting in November) — Marti Smith, facilitator. Marti will be away in September and October, but in November she will head up a semi-monthly group focusing on the issue of local, national, and international hunger. The group will learn about the issue, perform direct service, advocate on behalf of hungry people, and educate the congregation.
Theology & Ethics on Tap group — Bob Turner, facilitator. This group will meet twice a month at a local watering hole to enjoy the beverages of our choice and talk about various theological concepts and their ramifications for our ethical and moral choices.
Supper Club — Pam Coleman, facilitator. Once a month group members will meet in each other’s homes or a local restaurant to enjoy a time of fellowship and getting to know people in the church better (newcomers especially) and strengthen their bonds.
Flying Buttresses group — facilitator needed. This group, which will meet as needed and communicate at other times by phone, email, or Zoom, is based on an idea of Sarah Turner’s. When she became disabled and could no longer take an active role in justice work, Sarah decided to become a flying buttress. Literal flying buttresses support the walls of cathedrals so they can soar high and hold beautiful stained glass windows. Metaphorical flying buttresses identify persons or groups that are doing important work for justice, some of which can be quite controversial, and send them cards, letters, notes, and so on to let them know that someone  appreciates their work and wants to support them so they can soar even higher. Think of it as “love mail” to counter the hate mail these folks sometimes receive. Sarah has agreed to train the facilitator of this group in her methods and practices of buttressing, so if you think you might be interested, contact me or Sarah ( , 703.785,2525).
Jeff has posted information about each of these groups on the church web site ( ).
Grace and peace,


On Sunday, October 8, following worship, anyone who wishes may join Pastor Bob and the confirmation group at Gring’s Mill for the Reading-Berks CROP Walk. This is an initiative of Church World Service, and the proceeds go to fight hunger here in Berks County and around the world. 25% of the money raised will go to Helping Harvest. The walk starts around 1:15, and there are options for 1K, 6K, or 10K walks along Tulpehocken Creek. I have set our church’s fundraising goal at a modest $250, so even if you don’t plan to walk, you can make a donation at our team page . If you do wish to walk, please contact me ( or 614.633.9319). I can help you set up a page that will make it easy to raise money through email or social media.