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. You can attend these groups even if you don’t attend worship at Cincinnati Friends Meeting.

Some groups are open to newcomers at any time; others are intended to be completed in sequence. The “Introduction to the People Called Quakers” class is a prerequisite for membership in Cincinnati Friends Meeting.

If you are interested in participating in any of the Spiritual Nurture Groups, contact our office at 513-791-0788 or office@cincinnatifriends.org, or contact the group’s facilitator.

Facilitator: Jim Newby
Day/Time: Tuesdays September 12 - October 17 from 7:00-8:30 PM

This six-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; and Quakers today. This class is free and open to the public. To register, call (513) 791-0788 or email office@cincinnatifriends.org.
Facilitator: Michael Ramos
Day/Time: Third Thursdays of the month, 7:00-8:15 PM

"The discipline of a writer is to learn to be still and listen to what his subject has to tell him." ---Rachel Carson
The purpose of the group will be to cultivate and maintain writing practices (journaling, poetry, personal essays), and share experiences from one's own writings in community.
Michael Ramos is a member of the Ohio Poetry Association and leads an Expressive Writing group in a community mental health clinic. Feel free to contact Michael at mramos@fuse.net or (513) 607-8569.
Facilitator: Cathy Barney
Day/Time: Second Wednesday of every month at 7 PM

Would you like to relate your daily experience to your spiritual life in a safe, group setting? To connect the mystical to the mundane? If so, join of a spiritual group where members each propose a topic to which we all pay attention between meetings. With a list of group-generated queries, we will look for where the topic shows up in our lives, journal, explore in art, by reading, or whatever arises. The person who suggested will facilitate that session, sharing their special interest, and then members will share their experiences and/or what they brought to represent the topic. The facilitator may use whatever means they wish to open the worship sharing. The purpose would be to grow together in exploring subjects near to our hearts as a heart, not head, experienced-based group. We share what speaks to us and stretch ourselves exploring what moves others. If you are interested in joining this group please contact the office.
Facilitator: Nan Hatch
Day/Time: First Monday of every month from 7:00-8:30 PM - The group is on hiatus until further notice

This is a time to knit, crochet, or otherwise craft any sort of items for others: cancer caps, children's mittens, scarves, shawls for hospice, etc. There will be yarn, needles, and patterns or you can bring your own. All are welcome!
Facilitator: Jeff Arnold
Day/Time: Third Wednesday of every month from 6:30-8:00 PM

This group has been meeting for over 5 years. Membership is open to any who want to attend on a meeting-to-meeting basis. Many people in the group come and go as schedules permit, so feel free to attend a meeting if interested and try it out.
The group has completed its study of the Tao Teh Ching, and is moving on to the study of the next great Taoist writer, Chuang Tzu. We are using Burton Watson's text Chuang Tzu: Basic Writings as our primary guide, with other texts as applicable.
The group begins with a period of meditation or centering down. Then we read the chapters from several different translations. We find that the differing viewpoints offered by various translators gives us more insight into the meaning of the text. We spend the rest of the time discussing and trying to make sense of what we have read. Discussions are informal, non-academic, personal, and a lot of fun.
Facilitator: Jeff Arnold
Day/Time: Second Thursday of every month at 7:00 PM

In the 20th century, small pockets of Christians here and there re-discovered the ancient roots of Christian spirituality.  Thomas Merton and Anthony de Mello were guiding lights, both taking full advantage of Eastern writings along with Meister Eckhart, Teresa of Avila, Origin and the rest of the Christian mystics.  In the present day, writers such as Cynthia Bourgeault, Thomas Keating, and Eckhart Tolle have continued making the old spirituality into something new, something that wakes us up and speaks directly to us today.  Quakers have figured prominently, with Rufus Jones and Thomas Kelly leading to Phil Gulley, Brent Bill, and our own Jim Newby adding their voices.

Richard Rohr became known in Cincinnati for founding New Jerusalem, a lay Catholic spiritual community which flourished in the 70’s and 80’s.  He left to go West and founded another community, the Center for Action and Contemplation which addresses the integration of action and contemplation, “incarnational mysticism.” and ecospirituality among many other concerns.

For me, he is an exceptional representative of and spokesperson for “non-dual” spirituality as a way of thinking and, more important, practicing, but in our contemplation and in our action.  

I would like to meet with others interested in reading Rohr, and integrating what we are reading into our daily practice.  I would like to meet once a month for 9-10 months.  Rohr has written many books, such as Falling Upward, which we could use; or he also publishes a once-a-day meditation which you get via email and is an excellent introduction to his thought and work.  This daily meditation includes occasional “guest speakers” such as Cynthia Bourgeault and, currently, James Finley (a contemporary of Merton’s at Gethsemane.)