Summer Small Groups – 2019

Thu, Jun 27, 2019

Once again, First Church Berkeley is offering summer small groups: an exciting opportunity to learn, explore, and play together! Five groups are still available, covering a range of interests and providing opportunities to deepen our connections with God and each other.

It is important that each participant attend all (or most) of the sessions. To sign up for a group, contact the group leader directly via the email listed in the description. Sign up NOW to save your spot. For any questions, contact Louise (


Bread Baking led by Bree Elle Gardner (
Baking bread can be a wonderful, meditative process, and it’s a great reminder of the power of patience and practice. Plus, kneading is a great way to work out your aggression (and biceps)! This small group will offer hands-on instructions and guidance for making bread, both the easy and quick kind (for sandwiches) and the more challenging kinds (like my communion bread!) – we’ll bake a new kind each week. Utensils and ingredients will be provided, but folks with kitchen scales are encouraged to bring them; they help a lot!
Space is limited to 4 participants.
Saturdays, 11 am to 1 pm: July 6, 13, 20, & 27 – Durant House


Intergenerational Origami led by Mary-Ellis Adams ( & Carol Chapman (
Come learn or practice origami! Start at the beginning or work on skills or challenge yourself. Origami is a paper folding art that is easy to learn and enjoyable to work on with others who can help you when you can't figure out how to do something! Plus, it’s fun! We will provide papers and project suggestions and instructions if you need them. Suggested donation: $2 per session for supplies.
Space is limited to 8 participants.

Wednesday, 7 - 8:30 pm,  July 10, 17, 24, 31* – Homes of Carol (Richmond) & Mary-Ellis (North Berkeley) *(and a field trip to Albany Library for “Margo’s Crafts” (origami activities) on Sat., July 13, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm)


Journey Into Music led by Betty Spamer (
Explore your inner world of creativeness and wisdom through music. Listening to music can evoke images and feelings that offer insight into our essential and spiritual selves. Each hour session begins with a focus (created from an overall theme), and follows with music listening time and drawing a mandala. (Artistic ability not required!) There will be opportunities to share your interpretation and insights from your experience, as you wish.
Space is limited to 8 to 12 participants.

Thursdays, 7:15-8:15 pm: Aug. 1, 8, 15, & 22  – Loper Chapel


Book Club led by Pam & Willem VandeKamp (

Do you ever come to the end of a book and long to talk about it with someone? Then this is the group for you! One book will be discussed at each meeting. We will read the following: Trevor Noah, Born a Crime. Stories from a South African Childhood; Robin Diangelo, White Fragility. Why It’s so Hard for White People to Talk about Racism; Tommy Orange, There There. A Novel; Jeffery L. Sheler, Believers: a Journey into Evangelical America. Space is limited to 10 participants.

The second Saturday of the month, 10 am to noon: Aug. 10, Sept. 14, Oct. 12, Nov. 9 – at a group member’s home


Socially Conscious Cinema and Conversation led by Kara Korbel Chinula (, Rev. Nancy McKay (, & Kristina McNaught (

So many issues to think about in today’s world, and what better way to explore them than in the company of your thinking friends! Share the questions, ideas, discomfort, and inspiration of socially conscious documentaries with a group of people who also want to better understand current affairs.  We’ll be watching:

  • Sat., July 6, 6 pmTransmilitary (2019)  (92 mins)
    At a time when transgender people are banned from serving in the U.S. military, four transgender troops risking discharge fight to attain the freedom they so fiercely protect
  • Thurs., July 18, 6:30 pmStopping Traffic (2018) PG-14 (72 mins)
    With 27 million victims worldwide, Stopping Traffic starts the conversation on a taboo topic through the eyes of survivors, activists, and front-line rescue teams to launch a movement to end modern-day slavery in the U.S. and abroad
  • Sat., Aug. 3, 6 pmCentral Park Five (2012) (120 mins)
    A documentary that examines the 1989 case of five black and Latino teenagers who were convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park. After having spent between 6 and 13 years each in prison, a serial rapist confessed to the crime
  • Thurs., Aug. 15, 6:30 pm Out of Mind/Out of Sight (2014) (87 mins)
    Profiles four residents of the Brockville Mental Health Centre, a forensic psychiatric hospital for people who have committed violent crimes.

Location: Pillar Room