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.  Some of the groups are on hiatus over the summer.

There will be a planning meeting for the upcoming year on Saturday, August 18, 2018.  Breakfast provided by Jim Newby at 8:30 AM followed by the planning meeting at 9:00 AM.  Please contact Jim if you plan to attend.

Facilitator: Jim Newby
Day/Time: Tuesdays, October 9, 16, 23, 30 & November 13, 20, 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 group will cultivate, improve, and maintain writing practices, and share from one's own writings in community. Participants at each meeting will learn or review a creative writing skill, and have the opportunity to practice and share. Michael Ramos has had a writing practice for over 10 years, with an emphasis on poetry and literary nonfiction, and leads an Expressive Writing group in a Community Mental Health clinic.
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: Third Wednesday of every month from 7:00-8:30 PM in the Fireside Room.

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 (No meeting in May & June)

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, September 2017 through June 2018. (No meeting May & June) This group is no longer open to new participants.

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.  

Facilitator: Mary Ellen Krisher
Day/Time: Third Thursday of every month from 10:00 - 11:30 AM

We gather at the meetinghouse, and begin with coffee, snacks and fellowship. We then retire to the library, where we respond to and discuss with one another, various queries. We are a group that enjoys being with one another, and entering new spiritual places as we share together.