Spiritual Nurture Groups

Spiritual Nurture Groups are small groups that meet regularly to discuss a particular book or topic, develop a spiritual practice, or engage in a shared activity to deepen relationships and build trust. Some groups meet for the duration of a book, others have met for years. Each fall, Cincinnati Friends Meeting hosts a spiritual-nurture retreat for members and attenders to connect and form or renew spiritual nurture groups for the coming year. Most groups are open to new members at that time; some of these groups may be open at other times.

A good starting point for newcomers interested in a group is the   Introduction to the People Called Quakers” class, a prerequisite for membership.

Other groups have included those listed below.

If you are interested in a small group, contact our office at 513-791-0788 or office@cincinnatifriends.org, or contact the group’s facilitator.

Facilitator: Jim Newby
Day/Time: Tuesdays, January 16, 23, 30, 6:30PM - 9:00PM

This three-week class is for those who are interested in learning about the Quaker movement, are considering membership at Cincinnati Friends Meeting, or for those who would like a refresher course.

We will study the beginnings of Quakerism in the mid-seventeenth century; the four periods of Quaker history; the genius of the American Quaker, John Woolman; how Quakers worship and the testimonies that they hold dear; the various Quaker educational institutions and umbrella organizations; the history of Cincinnati Friends Meeting, and Quakers today. This class is free and open to the public. To register, call (513) 791-0788 or email office@cincinnatifriends.org.
Contact: Vicki Culler
Day/Time: Second Wednesday of every month at 6:30 PM

This group will open to new members.

An opportunity to relate your daily life experiences to your spiritual life in a safe group setting, we (try to) connect the "mystical" with the seemingly mundane. Each month, a member volunteers to facilitate a topic or experience for reflection among the group at the next meeting. The purpose is to grow together by exploring subjects with an emphasis on a heart-and experience-based perspective, rather from our heads. We share what speaks to us and stretch ourselves while exploring what moves others." If you are interested in joining this group please contact Vicki Culler or the office.
Facilitator: Cathy Barney
Exploring our racial bias personally in preparation for looking at our bias as a faith community, this group honors our commitment to EquaSion’s “A Mighty Stream” movement. We have deep, rich talks about hard subjects and seek new members, fresh input and a way forward.

Most of us have engaged in this work before, but are open to anyone also dedicated to this work with an open heart. We had been meeting monthly, but are open to what the new group decides. Contact the office if interested.
Facilitator: Michael Ramos
Day/Time: 3rd Tuesday, 6:30-8:00 pm beginning in January 2024

Reading and writing poetry is similar to seeking God and light. Both require practices to center us into experience, and each of us must create practices unique to us. This nurture group will assist participants with creating personal practices that will center them into being present with the experiences of reading and writing poetry. Contact the office if interested.
Facilitator: Jeff Arnold
Day/Time: Third Thursday of every month from 6:30-8:00 PM

This group will use the classic ancient Chinese text known as the Tao Te Ching as a basis for spiritual nurture. This will not be a book study; we will use the text as a basis for reflection, using a modified worship sharing format.

This text is difficult for Westerners because it is deeply spiritual while also being non-theistic, non-credal, and non-dogmatic. Since Quakers are non-credal and non-dogmatic, we can feel our way into this way of being in the world.

Because of the difficulties of translating from Chinese characters, we will use several texts:

I recommend Ursula K LeGuin and Stephen Mitchells adaptations and commentary. They are both accessible and their commentaries are helpful. My favorite actual translator is David Hinton. He is a scholar, familiar with all the ancient Chinese texts and conversant with the original Chinese characters, or “logographs,” in which it is written. He has an excellent introduction. I also like and use the translation by Gia Fu Feng and Jane English, which also has an excellent introduction by Jacob Needleman.

There are many others- the Tao Te Ching has been translated as much as the Bible. Any versions that you have on your shelf are welcome.
Facilitator: Jeff Arnold
Day/Time: Third Monday of every month 6:30 -8:00 PM

Meeting for over a year, we began with Integral Spirituality, by Ken Wilber, and moved to Letting Go by David Hawkins. Now we are taking up Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now, which articulates the profound spiritual transformation he experienced at age 29. This journey has become a non-denominational guide to spiritual transformation, accessible to all. Contact the office if interested.

From the introduction: “There are new discoveries to be made along the way: we are not our mind; we can find our way out of psychological pain; authentic human power is found by surrendering to the Now, the present moment, where problems do not exist.” This group is open to new members. Contact the office if interested.
Contact the office to be directed to the facilitator of these potential groups.

Spirituality of Living
Open to all ages and experience, we will accompany, assist and love one another wherever we are, sharing our joys and disappointments. Beginning with Parker Palmer’s On the Brink of Everything, this nurture group will include a brief check-in and encouragement of a spiritual practice. We’ll let way open as to what happens after the book.

On the Brink offers a refreshing perspective on aging and life, including: discerning what you want to give your life to; integrating shadow; being the unvarnished self; wholeness beneath the brokenness; life as a contemplative amid the world’s madness; and evolutionary love.

Coffee Group (name to be determined)
Intergenerational and open to anyone, this group meets in a variety of coffee shops around Cincinnati to explore spirituality, build community, provide support and encouragement. Linda Daigle will facilitate the first gathering with the suggestion of meeting monthly, though the group will discern dates, timeless and discussion topics. No commitment necessary.

Friendly Fellowship (working title)
Hoping to nourish members, encourage friendships and create community, this group will attend events on a somewhat regular basis.

A Thursday open-mic night at Plain Folk Live Music Cafe is the first outing, date to be determined. The restaurant, with homemade soups, 19 kinds of grilled cheese, salads and gluten-free choices under $10, opens at 5 p.m. Open mic begins at 6 p.m. should you want to bring your guitar. Plain Folk is in a renovated 1913 schoolhouse, 10177 State Route 132, Pleasant Plain, OH.

The Daniel Plan
A healthy lifestyle program founded on biblical principles and focused on faith, food, fitness, focus and friends. The idea is to support each other as we get better together. Based on a book by the same name, co-written by a Jewish doctor, a Muslim doctor and a Christian pastor, the Daniel Plan is designed to last 40 days. Ideally, the group would meet weekly for six weeks, then determine if we want to continue meeting monthly to provide accountability to each other.