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.

Labyrinth of Light

This year, we will not be holding a Solstice Service on Saturday, December 21.  Instead, you are invited to participate in an intergenerational Labyrinth of Light organized by Margit Griffith and Sarah Klockowski.  It will be held in the Parish House Auditorium on Saturday, December 21 from 12-8pm, and on Sunday, December 22 from 12-5pm. All ages are welcome!

Please contact Margit Griffith (margit@fplincoln.org) if you would like to assist in creating the Labyrinth and/or if you would like to volunteer some time to sit and welcome guests while the doors are open.

A new solstice committee will be forming in the spring for Solstice 2020.

Hygge for Beginners

Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, 5:30-7pm | Donaldson Room
The Danish expression, Hygge, is an attitude towards life that emphasizes finding joy in everyday moments. Rather than drudge through the winter, hygge is about celebrating coziness, comfort, warmth and family; as well as practicing mindfulness. Join Margit and Meredith as they create space for us to explore this cozy tradition. Email sarah@fplincoln.org to sign up.

FPL Book Group Discussion

Tuesday, December 3, 2019, 6:30pm – 7:30pm | Stearns Room
Please join us to discuss the biography of Alexander von Humboldt, the visionary German naturalist whose ideas changed the way we see the natural world – and in the process created modern environmentalism. And come with your ideas about the next book we might read. 
The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World, by Andrea Wulf.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23995249-the-invention-of-nature

Upcoming Event: Advent Retreat

Saturday, December 14, 2019, 1-4pm | Stearns Room

Advent is a time of growing darkness as well as anticipation. We seem to want to take naps. We grow sleepy earlier. But life turns into a frenzy of activities. Our three hour retreat just for adults will help you slow down. We will introduce you to advent themes, hear some stories (yes, adults like to hear stories too). We will do some art in response to the stories, (drawing, writing, knitting, etc.), and some meditation. Make some new memories in front of a fire with tea and mulled cider and cookies. Please join us. All are welcome.

Facilitators: Jenny Rankin and Paula Waterman

Sign up by emailing sarah@fplincoln.org

Upcoming Event: Follow-Up Discussion on Debby Irving Presentation

Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, 5pm | Stearns Room
Let’s continue the conversation! The Adult Learning Committee invites you to join our ongoing dialogue on race and privilege at 5pm on November 17 in the Stearns Room. We are certain there will be much to digest from Debby Irving’s presentation on November 13, and we want to provide a space to process her talk in community. Bring your courageous questions, and join us as we do this important work together.

Upcoming Event: Spiritual Parenting


Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, 5:30-7pm | Donaldson Room
Margit and Jenny will lead a heartfelt conversation about how to bring the spirit home. We’ll talk a little history and theory, and move quickly to practices that you may like to incorporate into your family life… from morning blessings and nightly graces, to new traditions and holiday observances. Please bring your favorite ideas. Come and add some new plays to your parenting playbooks! All ages dine and chat in spirit together from 5:30 to 6ish; then there is childcare while the adults continue the conversation. Pizza, salad, cider for dinner.

Eight participants needed in order to run (no maximum, open to members and non-members!). Deadline to sign up is Nov. 14 at noon. Email sarah@fplincoln.org to sign up. We will let you know if the program will run by 1pm on 11/14.

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.

www.writinglifebarbaraoneil.com