Making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Fall Term 2018 Adult Groups

Basics of the small group process:

  • Groups start meeting as soon as the week of September 9
  • Please double check the dates and details of your chosen groupEach group includes a commitment to:
  • Pray for one another
  • Attend the group gathering
  • Participate in any group times of service, mission and fellowship.


Small Groups are available for registration as of Sunday, September 9.

Registration will remain open. As groups fill, or begin their start date that individual group may be closed.

Some groups have limited sizes, and will close when full.

There are paper registration forms available at the Information Desk, the front office, and in the lounge (M102). Please note that a paper registration will be entered into the online registration form during Heidi’s office hours, and may slow your place in line.    

If you have any questions, or need help with registration please contact

Heidi DeMoss:
Church phone: 616-396-5205, ex. 106
Church office hours: Tuesday and Friday from 10am-12pm
Cell phone: 616-307-2585

First Step Opportunities

In the group offerings this fall, you will see opportunities labeled as First Step. Opportunities such as the Spirituality and Photography class or Genesis and Exodus Yoga, are intended to awaken your spiritual life in unique ways. You can also invite a friend or neighbor to a First Step to get involved in the life of our church. We hope you will sign up for these new endeavors.


Currently the Nursery is available for Sunday morning and Thursday evening groups (with one week of notice) for groups meeting in the Church building.

Starting in September

Seniors on the Go

Coordinated by Mary DeRidder
A ministry of activities for seniors, some free, some for a cost. Those who participate must register ahead. If you would like to participate, or help plan and arrange activities, contact Mary DeRidder,
Currently planned activities are:

  • Oct. 4 – Trip to Crane’s Orchard. Save the date and watch for more details.

When & Where: Most months, dates and times and activities vary, must register ahead with Mary DeRidder
Who: Seniors looking for some fun and fellowship.

Immersion Bible Studies: James, 1 & 2 Peter, 1, 2 & 3 John, Jude

By Michael E. Williams
Led by Dave Minnich
“In this … study, Michael E. Williams explores James, 1 & 2 Peter, 1, 2, & 3 John, and Jude not only with a keen theological eye and a pastor’s heart, but also with the imagination of a poet and master storyteller. The Bible stories come alive and are connected to everyday life in a way that help us see the workings of God in our lives. 

Immersion, inspired by a fresh translation–the Common English Bible–stands firmly on Scripture and helps readers explore the emotional, spiritual, and intellectual needs of their personal faith. More importantly, they’ll be able to discover God’s revelation through readings and reflections.” –

When:  9:40-10:30am Sunday, 9/9 to 11/11
Where:  B105 (Basement room across from Gathering Place, next to kitchenette)
Who:  Up to 14 Adults


Organized by Peg Minert
This class uses the United Methodist produced FaithLinks material.
“Connecting Life and Faith. Lessons that connect faith to news events and to issues in the culture and in the church.” Leadership is provided by FaithLinks members. Open to all. Drop in and join our conversation and fellowship any Sunday.

When:  9:40-10:30am Sunday, beginning 9/9
Where:  B103 (basement room next to Gathering Place, previously LuAnne’s office)
Who:  As many adults of any age as wish to join in the fun

Made for a Miracle: From Your Ordinary to God’s Extraordinary 

By Mike Slaughter
Led by Roxanne Wallace

“Every miracle has two parts. Popular author and [UM] pastor Mike Slaughter examines the two components of every miracle: divine action and human responsibility. For a real miracle to take place, we must act with God, using the abilities we have and directing them toward God’s work in the world.”  – back cover of book.

Offered by Monday Night Small Group
This is a very eclectic group, diverse in age from their 30’s to their 80’s. They meet every other week for study and fellowship, and are greatly supportive of each other. There is still room for some new faces in this group.

When:  7-8:30pm Monday, bi-weekly, 9/10 to 11/19
Where:  M102 (Lounge)
Who:  Up to 14 adults

Book Club 


Led by Abby Searls

Our Book Club meets almost every month during the school year. Offered in a classic style with time to read the book for the coming month’s meeting and then join with others to discuss the book. Contact Abby Searls,, for more information, or to let her know to expect you.

Here is the Book Club list for this year:

  • Sep. 10 – Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
  • Oct. 8 – All Things New by Lynn Austin
  • Nov. 12 – Glory Over Everything: Beyond the Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
  • Feb. 11 – The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  • Mar. 11 – News of the World by Paulette Jiles
  • Apr. 8 – The Charm Bracelet by Viola Shipman
  • May 13 – Small Great Things By Jodi Picoult

When:  6:30pm 2nd Monday of the month as published
Where:  M102 (Lounge)
Who:  Up to 20 adults. Please register for this group with Abby Searls

Fiber Arts Fellowship

Led by Jane Smith and Loretta Tiethof

Fiber Arts Fellowship (previously Knitting Fellowship) will include quilting, crocheting and knitting. Want to learn any of these skills? We are excited to teach fiber art. The hope is to include lap quilts and crocheted and knitted prayer shawls for distribution. Presently our fiber art creations serve many ministries:  we make prayer shawls and prayer pockets, and as the weather turns may again make scarves, mittens and hats for our friends in need attending the Community Lunch.

F.A. Fellowship will still meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month form 1-3pm in M102 (Lounge), with e-mail contact in case of changes.  You are welcome to join us for any portion of our time together. You do not have to be part of the fellowship to contribute your fiber art creations. We will supply yarn and fabric and accept donations. We welcome you!

When:  1-3pm the 2nd and 4th Tuesday, 9/11 to 12/11
Where:  M102 (Lounge)
Who:  Unlimited number of interested adults, no registration needed, please sign-in.

Spirituality and Photography – First Step Activity

Led by Pastor Tania Dozeman

Come to explore, celebrate, and proclaim the beauty of God in the creation around us! All you need is a spirit of wonder and access to any kind of camera (a cell phone camera will work just fine). Our goal together will be to slow down, savor, and to see with fresh eyes God at work within nature and within ourselves. We will start each session together with a focused meditation to encourage us to slow down and to be present to the world, creation, one another, and God. We will then walk in nature individually (or with a child if you bring one along) observing and capturing what we see. At the end of the time, we will gather back together share our discoveries and conclude in prayer.

                       A Photographer’s Prayer

Flow through me with your spirit
Help me see the beauty you see
Help me capture in one instant moment
Your goodness, God, let my image reveal.
-Roger Bois

When: 4-5 pm Sundays, 9/16 to  10/21
Where: Various free parks in the Holland area. The 1st meeting will be at the Outdoor Discovery Center, 4214 56th St, Holland, MI 49423.
Who: Adults and Kids of all ages (if a child comes along, please have one adult per child)

Moses: In the Footsteps of the Reluctant Prophet

By Adam Hamilton
Led by Marsha Burnham

“Join Adam Hamilton as he travels from Egypt to Mt. Sinai, the Nile, the Red Sea and the wilderness exploring the sites of Moses’ life. Using historical information, archaeological data, and biblical text, Hamilton guides us in the footsteps of this reluctant prophet who grew in his relationship with God and by the end of life had successfully fulfilled the role he was given.” –

Using a DVD featuring Adam Hamilton and the accompanying book, we will meet weekly to talk about what we are learning about Moses applies to our own lives.

Offered by the Ladies Plus small group

This group is waiting for their first male member. Are you comfortable with a group of women who want to learn more about each other, God, and a variety of topics? Then join us. We would love to have you, man or woman.

When:  1-2:30pm Monday, bi-weekly, 9/17 to 11/19
Where:  B106 (Gathering Place)
Who:  Up to 14 adults of any age or gender

Crafty Christians (Bible Journaling, etc.) – First Step Activity

Led by Kristi Smith

Here is an opportunity to experience Bible journaling. Kristi has been doing this exciting form of Bible study and personal prayer reflection for years. She has some basic supplies to share, and can help you decide what you might want for your own set of supplies. Come with a Bible you are willing to fill with art, or just bring yourself as Kristi will have separate pages, or other projects available for you to try. Depending on the group, Kristi can offer some training and techniques. There may even be some surprises that help you get ready to celebrate Advent in December…

For those who have other crafts they would like to do while in fellowship, you are welcome to come, bring your project, and enjoy the time together.

When:  6-7:30pm Tuesday, bi-weekly, 9/18 to 11/13
Where:  B105 (Basement room across from Gathering Place, next to kitchenette)
Who:  Up to 14 crafty adults 

Woman’s Spiritual Growth Group

Led by varied strong women

We are a supportive community of intergenerational women at First who recognize our longing to know God more and who through mutual mentoring support one another as we grow in our spiritual lives. We are always intentionally open and welcoming. We use books as the basis of our discussion. We connect first as a large group and then meet in small groups that are set each semester for more intimate discussion.

Fall study: The Power of the Focused Heart: 8 Life Lessons from the Beatitudes
By Mary Lou Redding

“Just say no! The world flies at us continually with too many distractions and opportunities. Sometimes you have to say no to some things so you can say yes to God.” –

Study sessions and project dates:

  • Sep. 20 – The Blessings of Poverty
  • Sep. 27 – The Gifts in Our Grieving
  • Oct. 4 – Power Under God’s Control
  • Oct. 11 – project week
  • Oct. 18 – Satisfied with Being Unsatisfied
  • Oct. 25 – Grace That Acts
  • Nov. 1 – To Will One Thing
  • Nov. 8 – project week
  • Nov. 15 – Seeing the World Needy and Whole
  • Nov. 22 – Thanksgiving – no meeting
  • Nov. 29 – Action and Reaction
  • Dec. 6 – project/closing

This fall The WSGG will meet for 3 weeks using our study and then 1 week putting our growing faith into action by doing a project together.

When: 7pm Tuesdays, 9/20 to 12/6
Where: B105, with use of B103 and B106 (basement rooms)
Who: Adult women of any age

Save: St. Patrick’s Day for our spring women’s retreat!

Crafting Fellowship

Led by Bobbie Piesko

In the spirit of preserving memories, Bobbie Piesko invites you to her home to join in a growth group for fellowship while scrap-booking our memories. Digital or old fashioned, Bobbie has 4 six-foot tables to share. Any craft project is fine if you are looking for a designated time and space with other crafters, this may be the group for you.

When: 7-11pm 1st & 3rd Friday, 9/21 to 12/7 (no meeting on 10/5)
Where: Piesko Home
Who: Adult women of any age

Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith

By Anne Lamott
Led by Pastor Brad Bartlemay

Ever read a book you just couldn’t put down and that you desperately wanted to reflect on with others? Traveling Mercies is that sort of book. Anne Lamott shares parts of her life – some hauntingly beautiful moments and some that are brutally ugly, and finds profound insights into faith and the spiritual journey in each of them. This book will move your heart and inspire your soul. There are seven short sections and we’ll read one a week.
We will begin reflecting as a group on September 23
rd during the Education Hour on Sunday mornings. The last session is Sunday, November 4th.

When:  9:40-10:30 am Sunday, 9/23 to 11/4
Where:  B106 (Gathering Place, basement room)
Who:  Up to 13 adults (including Pastor Brad)

“Take a Walk on the Wild Side” with Pastor Brad – First Step Activity

Led by Pastor Brad Bartlemay

West Michigan is the home to some beautiful parks and natural settings. We’ll meet each Sunday at 2pm to hike in some of these settings, such as Rosy Mound and Pidgeon Creek County Parks, the pier and beach in Grand Haven and so on. Each hike will begin with a brief devotion by Pastor Brad. This six week group starts on Sunday, September 23rd and meets each week until October 28th. Come watch the leaves change color, enjoy the crisp autumn air and get a little exercise as we commune with God through the beauty of the natural world.

When:  2pm Sunday, 9/23 to 10/28
Where:  Specific weekly hiking information to be shared later
Who:  Up to 25 (including Pastor Brad)

Starting in October

The Story We Find Ourselves In: Further Adventures of a New Kind of Christian
Based on the book by Brian McLaren
Led by Rev. Tom Pier-Fitzgerald

In a conversation with well-educated non-religious spiritual seekers, Brian McLaren realized, “…how distant and irrelevant the Christian message . . . seems [to be for them].” With that in mind, he writes The Story We Find Ourselves in.  

Have religious answers to your quest for life’s meaning left you spiritually hungry?

Are you wondering about how to grow deeper in your relationship with God?

Have you ever asked yourself, how can I speak about my faith without turning off my non-religious friends or colleagues?

If you resonate with any one of these questions, you will find McLaren’s response to be refreshing, intriguing, challenging yet hopeful.

Regardless of your reaction to McLaren’s ideas you will find this discussion group to be respectful and supportive. Join us Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8:30 beginning October 2nd and ending November 27th.

If you plan to join us, please obtain a copy of the book (Amazon has new copies for $8.44) and read the introduction and first 4 chapters before October 2.

When:  6:30-8pm Tuesday, 10/2 to 11/27
Where:  B106 (Gathering Place)
Who:  Up to 15 adults

Simple Christmas Ornaments   First Step Activity

Led by Heidi DeMoss

Small projects are a great way to learn cross stitch. In the midst of sorting an extensive amount of craft supplies Heidi rediscovered many varied cross stitch patterns for Christmas ornaments, as well as fabrics and threads. She would love to share her bounty, knowledge and skills with anyone interested in creating an ornament for Christmas. Beginners welcome. Children welcome with an adult. All materials (except a hoop) will be available.

When:  6:30-8pm Tuesday, bi-weekly, 10/2 to 11/13
Where:  B103 (basement room next to Gathering Place, previously LuAnne’s office)
Who:  Up to 12 Adults and Kids of all ages (if a child comes along, please have one adult per child)

Exodus Yoga   First Step Activity

Led by Necia Ornée

Join us for an hour of stretching, strengthening and centering. This class is suitable for individuals with some experience doing yoga. The poses and pace may prove challenging, however, many modifications will be provided to accommodate a wide range of fitness levels. We will begin and end each session with a Biblical meditation to promote centering, refocus, and connection of mind, body, and spirit. Please bring a yoga mat and water bottle. Exodus Yoga will be led by Necia Ornée who is the founder and lead instructor of Pop-Up Fitness and 30 Days of Awesome. As a group fitness instructor, yoga teacher and health coach in the Holland area, she is passionate about encouraging, educating, and empowering people in their journey toward a more awesome life – starting right where they are.

When: 5:15-6:15 pm, Tuesdays, 10/9 to 11/13
Where: Sanctuary, near the Good Shepherd Window
Who:  Anyone old enough to sustain quiet for an hour
Cost: $30 (some scholarships available) Please make checks payable to FUMC with the name of the class in the memo line.

Genesis Yoga   First Step Activity

Led by Necia Ornée

Enjoy an hour of spiritually focused yoga to restore and relax after a long day. This class is suitable for individuals new to yoga and/or those simply desiring a relaxing stretch, without the intermediate challenge of poses and pace that the Exodus Yoga class will aim to offer. We will begin and end each session with a Biblical meditation to promote centering, refocus, and connection of mind, body, and spirit. Please bring a yoga mat and water bottle. Genesis Yoga will be led by Necia Ornée who is the founder and lead instructor of Pop-Up Fitness and 30 Days of Awesome. As a group fitness instructor, yoga teacher and health coach in the Holland area, she is passionate about encouraging, educating, and empowering people in their journey toward a more awesome life – starting right where they are.

When: 5:15-6:15 pm, Thursdays, 10/11 to 11/15
Where: Sanctuary near the Good Shepherd Window
Who: Anyone old enough to sustain quiet for an hour
Cost: $30 (some scholarships available) Please make checks payable to FUMC with the name of the class in the memo line.

Speaking Christian: Why Christian Works Have Lost Their Meaning and Power and How They Can Be Restored

by Marcus Borg
Led by George Ward

Amazon’s description says of Speaking Christian: “In Speaking Christian, acclaimed Bible scholar Marcus Borg … argues that the very language Christians use has become dangerously distilled, distorted, and disconnected from the beliefs which once underpinned it.  Stating a case that will resonate with readers … Borg calls for a radical change to the language we use to invoke our beliefs—the only remedy that will allow the Church’s words to once again ring with truth, power, and hope.”  –

Offered by Sunday Night Small Group

This group brings a sack lunch to eat together in fellowship before they begin their study time. Mostly retirees, supporting each other through life’s transitions, they are open to new members of any age joining them.

When:  5:30-7:15pm Sunday, begins 10/14
Where:  M102 (Lounge)
Who:  Up to 18 adults who like sack lunch

Next Step Class – Next Step Activity

Led by Tania Dozeman

This class is intended for a person who is wanting to take the next step in connecting with God within the community of First. Designed for anyone who is new to our faith community, new to Methodism, or someone who has been to worship but would like to try a small group, this class will have an intentional focus of building community with one another and deepening our relationship with God. With an intentional focus of supporting one another, we will explore ways in which we can grow our faith with a focus on our core Wesleyan beliefs. We will use the book This We Believe: The Core of Wesleyan Faith and Practice as our foundation. For those seeking membership at the end of this class, we will meet one last time on December 9 from 9:45-10:30.   

When: 9:45-10:30am Sundays, 10/21 to 12/2
Where: TBD
Who: Adults


Read the bulletin Take Me Home, the Weekly Blast email, and First Focus monthly newsletter for updates, and new opportunities this fall and preparing for Christmas during Advent.

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