Adults ~ Journeying together toward deeper faith, justice, and love for all
Journey of Faith
Our Journey of Faith program began in 2008 as part of the beginning of our congregation’s revitalization. This program combines adult Christian Education with opportunities to share our faith with others. Over the years we've provided sessions such as book studies, video studies, ecological concerns, and presentations by invited speakers and our own members. For a look at our past offerings, click here.
June 3 | Murder, Protest, Fire, Cleanup, Grief: Checking in with one another | Join us for an opportunity to share with each other what we're experiencing in the wake of George Floyd's death and in the midst of ongoing upheaval in our Twin Cities. We'll start at 6:30 and will take whatever time we need as a community, without a set end time. We'll use the bulk of this Journey of Faith in breakout groups of 5-8 people, facilitated by pastors Cindy and Clare and lay leaders David Atterberry and Vonda Pearson. We'll exercise the courage and grace needed to hold space for a variety of experiences and perspectives. We'll also wonder about ways St. Paul's UCC might put our faith into action with a collective response to the injustice experienced by the black community and the turmoil and anguish of the wider community.
June 10 & 17 | Climate Changed: Facing our future | In September 2019, Gustavus Adolphus College hosted their annual Nobel Conference. The topic was Climate Changed: Facing our future. The 2-day conference brought in Nobel-laureate scientists and activists for a public conversation around the climate science — and the human values — that will guide us as we face the future. Three SPUCC members — Deb George, Tracy Kugler, and David Weiss — attended the conference and will share their experience.
June 24 | Chair Yoga: Moving toward mindfulness | In the West, yoga is often seen as just another “workout.” But the real goal of the practice is to prepare for meditation by calming the nervous system and fostering body awareness. Explore the mind-body connection through gentle, mindful movement as you sit in a chair or stand using the chair for support. We’ll conclude with a focus on the breath and a brief meditation. Please have ready: 1) a sturdy chair, preferably without arms, 2) a yoga block or a couple of rolls of toilet paper, and 3) perhaps a thin pillow for your back.
Nancy Giguere is a registered yoga teacher. She has studied yoga since 2003 and began teaching in 2011 after completing 500 hours of training. She also has additional training in somatics and is a student of Pilates and the Alexander Technique.
July 1 | Learning More About Quakers | Learn from a brief history of Quakerism from its founding to the modern day, and understand how Quakers' core beliefs and values such as simplicity, peace/nonviolence, integrity, community, and equality shape their faith and practice. We'll explore the nature of silent meetings for worship and how these are distinct from a meditation practice or traditional Christian church.
Sarah Juliusson is a member of the Cowichan Valley Quaker Meeting on Vancouver Island, BC Canada, and attender at the Twin Cities Friends Meeting in Saint Paul. Raised Presbyterian, she became a Quaker as an adult inspired by the alignment between faith and practice she had witnessed in Quakers she'd met. She is a web designer, textile lover, and avid cook and has raised their two teenage sons in the care of the Quaker Meeting.
July 8 | Food Insecurity: Global and Local
Hunger in Developing Countries | Feed My Starving Children is a Christian nonprofit that provides nutritionally complete meals formulated specifically for malnourished children. The approach is simple: Donors fund the meal ingredients. Volunteers hand-pack the meals. Meals are donated to FMSC partners around the world, where kids are fed and lives are saved.
Lisa Feese Burn left her 30-year career in corporate insurance six years ago to become a development advisor at Feed My Starving Children, where she encourages individuals, corporations, churches, and schools to generate creative fundraising and volunteer experiences.
Hunger in Our Own Community | Insights into working at a food shelf and who uses the services. Our presenter Josh Bau works at Merrick Community Services on the East Side of Saint Paul. He is the nutritional and independence services manager, helping the food shelf operate the way the neighborhood does, dealing with culturally specific food, fresh produce, proteins, dairy, and deli available daily. Josh lives on the East Side with his wife Angela and their two cats. He says he loves cooking for friends and family "and making weird food."
July 15 | Eating: Disordered, Intuitive, and Everything in Between | We eat for many reasons including nourishment, distraction, soothing, and enjoyment. While no one's relationship with food is perfectly balanced, sometimes eating behaviors become so extreme that they dominate or even threaten one's life. This session will include information about various eating disorders. We’ll also take time to explore our personal relationships with food and the ways they serve or don't serve us. While eating patterns will be our primary focus, much of the personal exploration can also apply to other behaviors that can become out of balance and negatively affect our lives.
Lori Peiffer, a member of our congregation, is a clinical psychologist who practices in Saint Paul. Before entering private practice in 2015, she worked for 15 years at The Emily Program, where she did individual and group therapy with people who had all types of eating disorders. Currently, she specializes in the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model of therapy. IFS is a nonjudgmental way of working with extreme feelings, beliefs, and behaviors that leads to greater feelings of calm and centeredness and more satisfying relationships with others. Lori is an Assistant Scoutmaster with her son's troop, and she enjoys biking and backpacking.
July 22 | Cool Beans: Cooking with a Staple | During the recent “Stay at Home” orders, many home cooks have been relying on basic pantry staples. One of the most versatile of these is beans. Dry or canned, beans come in many varieties and, combined with rice, pasta, eggs, or other common ingredients, they provide protein, flavor, and simple good eating. Learn an easy method of cooking gas-free dry beans. Discover how to use beans creatively in several soups, salads, and main dishes.
Bruce Tyler is a retired chef who has cooked in a wide variety of settings: from gourmet restaurants to congregate dining. Visitors to our Artisan Festival have tasted his creations during the annual Grand Meander Soup Tasting Contest, and he is a three-time recipient of the People’s Choice Award for the best soup.
July 29 | Talent and Interest Show | Join us for this very special Journey of Faith. Young members of our community will share their talents and special interests, live via Zoom or on short video clips. Clare Gromoll will host. The special talent lineup will be announced beforehand!
ARC Retreat Center | Action, Reflection, Celebration
The ARC Retreat Center is located in a beautiful white pine forest just an hour north of the Twin Cities. ARC is “a retreat center operated by a residential community, rooted in Christian tradition, emphasizing the values of simplicity, justice and healing, mercy and prayer, serving individuals and groups seeking time apart, rest and spiritual renewal." We often go on retreat during Lent, sometimes also in the fall. Recent retreat themes have included Sabbath, Forgiveness, Exploring the Mountain and Valley Experiences of Faith, and Security: Illusions and Imagination.
Interest Groups | Ongoing connections based in commonalities
The Women's Group includes women in their early 20s through 90s who are employed, underemployed, managing households, and retired. The group gathers for a 6 pm dinner at a local restaurant on the first Monday of each month and periodically sponsors a Sunday Morning Fair Trade Coffee Hour with a theme. They also provide Christmas gifts for our homebound members and were the original planters of the Peace Garden in front of the church. Contact the church office for more information (651-224-5809).