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: Spring 2023

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: Cathy Barney
Day/Time: Second Wednesday of every month at 6:30 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: Jim Newby and others
Day/Time: Second Thursday of every month from 10:00 - 11:30 AM via Zoom.

Please contact the office to be added to the mailing list that will include the Zoom invite. You are welcome to join this fellowship at any time.
Facilitator: Jeff Arnold
Day/Time: Third Monday 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: 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:

For beginners, I recommend Ursula K LeGuin’s Tao Te Ching. A lifelong reader of the Tao Te Ching (her father had a copy) she offers an adaptation/interpretation (she is not a translator) along with commentaries which will be very helpful to us in our search for the nurturing content of this ancient perspective on life.

Stephen Mitchell also offers an adaptation/interpretation which puts these often obscure passages into a more accessible format.

My favorite actual translator is David Hinton. He is a true 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 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 and Rick Reckman
Day/Time: Third Thursday of every month 6:30 PM

This monthly spiritual nurture group drawing on the Integral Theory offered by Ken Wilber. Ken Wilber is a modern-day American philosopher who writes about human development and spiritual growth from a broad and inclusive perspective.

Facilitator: Nan Hatch
Day/Time: Not currently meeting

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!