Course Offering: Creativity as Spiritual Practice

Wednesdays, January 15th, 22nd, and 29th, 1 – 2pm | Church Library

Instructor: Rev. Jenny Rankin

Making things by hand. It’s an ancient idea. A simple idea. And it turns out, it can be good for the soul! Join Jenny Rankin and a small group as we come together for this contemplative hand work group in the heart of the winter.

Whether you are knitting a sock, painting a picture, caning a chair seat, whittling, or just beginning to think about getting started on some new practice of your own, we hope you’ll join us. Bring whatever it is you are working on or thinking about working on. We’ll spend time in silence, conversation as we explore together how creativity may be an over-looked spiritual practice in our lives.

Course Offering: Spiritual Autobiography

Tuesdays, January 14th – February 11th, 7 – 8:30pm | Church Library

Instructor: Rev. Jenny Rankin

Join Jenny Rankin and a small group as you are invited to reflect, consider your life through a “spiritual” lens, and write about it. You have the freedom to define “spiritual” in your own way!

Through a series of in-class exercises and short writing assignments, participants will begin to consider the different chapters or steppingstones of their life’s journey up until now. We will have short (two page) weekly writing assignments, culminating in the final writing of a “spiritual autobiography” (6-8 pages in length).

Each person will bring different experiences and questions to the class. Some things to consider: What have been the gifts and graces of your life? Where were the losses and hurts? How would you articulate your sense of the sacred, God, or what spiritual vocabulary do you use? What “language of reverence” do you speak?

Participants will be invited to read their writing to the class. The “right to reticence” is always encouraged. Attendance is expected at each session.

Course Offering: The Writing Life

Tuesdays, November 12 and 19, 7-9pm | Garrison Room
Many of us hold a deep dream of wanting to write, but in our busy lives, we don’t make time for it. This fall, over two evenings, Barbara O’Neil will offer participants a chance to write in the company of others inspired by prompts to spur the imagination. We will generate new material, trust what comes and share with others. This is not a critique group, but a place to build our writing muscle. Once you have started, you may want to continue this writing practice long after the class is over. Barbara’s hope is that many of you will be inspired to write a piece for the Lenten booklet; a collection of readings for Lent written by members and friends of First Parish. No writing experience is necessary. All are welcome!

Barbara O’Neil, MEd is a lifelong writer and teacher. She finds writing to be a powerful vehicle for personal expression and creativity and is passionate about guiding others on their path as writers. For ten years, she has led writing groups in the Boston area. She teaches a yearly writing retreat in Taos, NM. In 2017, Barbara was awarded a writing residency at The Mabel Dodge Luhan House in New Mexico. She is a long time member of First Parish and has written many prayers in her role as lay leader.