First Church is committed to continued Christian growth and seeks to provide varied opportunities for education and fellowship. Please contact Pastor Tish Bowman at 451.2879 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions. Click here to register for adult opportunities Online.
Adult Education Opportunities We believe that adult church school is a place to learn about our faith and how it affects our lives. We also believe that we can learn from each other. A wide variety of topics are covered. The classes provide information to stimulate thinking, discussion and new ideas while getting to know the people in the class.
Christian Perspectives on the Justice System
A four-week class featuring speakers and videos. Classes are Sundays through March 23 at 9:30 am in room 3107, led by Ruth Chisnall. This class will attempt to give new understanding to the issues faced by the State of Michigan in making the justice system more equitable. Lynda Zeller will be our guest speaker on March 16. Lynda worked in medical care of inmates in prison for the State of Michigan and is now working in the mental health field to address the issues of prison being used as housing and treatment for citizens with mental health issues. We will have a Circle of Support guest on March 23. Please join us to find ways you may be able to help the justice system become more equitable.
Lenten Study: Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations by Bishop Robert Schnase
You are invited to embark on a journey this Lent. The church has entered a new era. People are seeking spirituality, but not necessarily organized religion. How will the church respond? What will speak to the people of today? Robert Schnase tells us that people are searching for a church shaped and sustained by Radical Hospitality, Passionate Worship, Intentional Faith Development, Risk-Taking Mission and Service, and Extravagant Generosity. Let´s get talking about how we might use these practices to make disciples for Jesus today and into the future.
- Wednesday AM – March 5-April 9, 10:00-11:30 am @ Clark, with Dick Youells
- Sunday AM – March 9-April 13, 9:30-10:30 am @ Church, with Amy Hinman
- Sunday PM – March 9-April 13, 5:00-6:30 pm @ Church, with Pastor Bob
- Monday PM – March 10-April 14, 7:00-8:30 pm @ John & Marianne Warnock´s
- Tuesday PM – March 11-April 15, 7:00-8:20 pm @Allyson Cave´s Home
- Wednesday PM – March 12-April 9 (or 16), 6:30-8:00 pm @ Church, with Laure Mieskowski
Men's Lenten Breakfasts
For all the MEN of the church. YES – we ARE having the MEN’S Lenten Breakfasts each Friday morning from 7:00 - 8:00 am in Wesley Hall. Breakfast each week will be prepared by our resident culinary artist, Jeff Gooder. We will sing together with Norm Bradley leading us. I will share a scripture and spend some time in prayer each week. And our featured lay speakers are all from our congregation. They will focus their comments on the theme; Why First Church is MY Church! Sign up using the Sunday bulletin insert. The speakers are:
- March 7 Fred Keller – is a life-long member of First Church who has been involved in many ministries and administrative responsibilities. An influential businessman in Grand Rapids, Fred is involved in many community organizations.
- March 14 Chuck Fry – is a retired United Methodist pastor who has served in several pastoral assignments including Grand Rapids Trinity UM Church. He also served a six-year term as a District Superintendent. He retired early to develop a clergy tax consultation business.
- March 21 Dr. Iain Charnley – Iain is a physician who is involved in many ministries throughout the congregation, serving as Missions Chair, engaged in Young Adult Ministry, and sings in the choir.
- March 28 Richard Johnson – Richard is a retired photography businessman who specialized in portraits. He developed a passion for outreach ministry and is on staff of First Church, leading our Work Program ministry.
- April 4 Dr. Dale Williams – Dale is a retired physician who has developed an incredible foundation, Koinonia, which provides bright, safe, versatile solar-powered lanterns and panels to the developing world.
- April 11 Ed Edwardson – spent his career in law enforcement administration and teaches at Grand Valley. Ed has been significantly involved in raising funds and developing the vision for the Ubuntu Center at Africa University. He will celebrate with us the role First Church played in this important ministry.
- April 18 Dan Miller – will share with us on Good Friday morning. Dan is the Chair of the Leadership Council and was a leader in the ‘tower project.’ Dan is a financial planner and serves in management in his firm.
Ongoing Adult Opportunities
- Book Club — Meets second Wednesday of the month at 6:00 pm in area restaurants to discuss current books. Contact Marlys Davis, 735.3339.
- Fixin' 'n' Fellowship — Meets year round every other Thursday morning at 9:00 am in room 105. We start the day with fellowship over coffee and baked goods, and then tackle minor repairs needed throughout the church buildings.
- Dinner for Eight — Participants will be assigned to three groups of eight, one in the fall, another in winter, and the third in the spring. Dinners take place in a host's home and each participant provides a dish to pass.
- Life Changing/High Commitment Study — There are a number of intensive, year-long classes held, including Disciple Bible Study I, II, III, IV, & Jesus in the Gospels, Christian Believer, and Companions in Christ.
- Long-Term Experiences — Some groups meet for a specific purpose on a regular basis weekly or monthly throughout the year, some in homes, others at church. The focus of these groups may be fellowship, sharing, prayer or study. Many started as short-term study group whose members decided to continue together.
- Moms’ Group — This is a wonderful opportunity for moms of young children to meet and support each other. Kids and dads are welcome too! Click here to see when our next event is.
- Short-term Study — During Lent and Advent, 4-6 week studies of a particular book or topic are offered to small groups.
Older Adult Opportunities
Join our many activities and ministry programs planned especially for adults who are 60 or more years of age!
- 60's + Luncheon — A catered lunch and short program. Meets the third Monday of the month at noon in Wesley Hall. Does not meet Januray, February, July, and August.
- Retiree Bible Study — Meets at 11:00 am on Monday mornings at First Place. Using the daily and weekly devotions from Christian Linving in the Mature Years, this group offers lively discussion and wonderful fellowship. New members are always welcome.
- Second Sunday Lunch Bunch — Meets the 2nd Sunday each month after worship for meal and fellowship.