Short-Term Small Groups (Wednesday Nights)

At 1st UMC, we believe the individual is never alone and never finished on the journey with Christ. Rather, we journey with other seekers and disciples to grow as better followers of Jesus. Our short-term small groups offer the opportunity to connect with others and learn more about God’s work in Scripture and the world. Join us throughout the week, and especially on Wednesday nights after our community meal and to participate in a short-term small group. Dinner is served from 5:30-6:00 PM and groups begin at 6:00 PM. Questions? Contact Carol Cooper,

Fall Book Study—Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright

Leader: Carol Cooper and Keith Cooper

Location: Room 123

Books are available at the Welcome Center and are $16.00.

“Many Christians believe our future in heaven is all that really matters. But that’s not what the Bible teaches. Through this small group Bible study, Surprised by Hope, premier Bible scholar N. T. Wright brings you inside the Scriptures to grasp the full, breathtaking hope Jesus offers the world, and its implications for your life today.

Gain an exciting new vision for your life on earth in light of your future in heaven. Wonderful as is the promise of heaven, a glorious hereafter is just part of what salvation is about.

What about today? Jesus called his followers the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Your life here and now is of tremendous consequence, and what you believe about the future has a direct impact on how you live in the present.  Surprised by Hope provides a clearer vision both of the future and of God’s kingdom at hand today.”

Lord, Teach Us to Pray: Six Classes to Help You Grow in the Grace and Discipline of Prayer

Leader: Prayer Action Team

Location: West Chapel

In our Methodist tradition, prayer is considered a means of grace—that is, a way by which God is always working invisibly in disciples, hastening, strengthening, and confirming faith so that His grace pervades in and through His disciples. Whether we have only just begun to walk with Christ or have walked with Him for decades, there is still more to learn and apply in our lives to help us grow in the grace and discipline of prayer.   

Beginning Wednesday, September 4th, you are invited to join this class for six weeks of exploring more and more about prayer.  Among our leaders for this class are retired Bishop Al Gwinn and Rev. Jessica LaGrone, Dean of the Chapel at Asbury Seminary.

Personalized Spiritual Training

Leader: Todd Nelson

Location: Room 122

Are you willing to leave your comfort zone and try something new and commit to a focused time of growing?  If so, you may want to consider participating in a time of personal spiritual direction.

In spiritual direction a directee and a director work together to develop a personalized plan to facilitate spiritual growth.  Spiritual direction is a one-on-one focused time of sharing, question asking, exploring Scripture, and prayer based upon the needs of the individual and the prompting of God’s Spirit.

The program consists of six individual meetings.

Finishing Well

Leader: Sharon Chrissey (

Location: Room 111

Thinking of retirement? Already retired? Empty nester? Change in life circumstances? Bored? Confused? Now what do I do? Please join us in a learning and discussion group to prepare to use your remaining years (ever how many) to finish well. This group will include scripture study, introspection, preparation, sharing and being open to God’s call.  Make the rest of your life, the best of your life!

Walking Group

Leader: KaraBeth Moore

Join us in the Gathering Hall and then we’ll head out to walk around Downtown and see the sites of our wonderful community.  We enjoy the conversation and the exercise as we walk and talk!

Crafty Hands and Hearts

Leader: Lu-Ann Farrar (

Location: Parlor (Room 107)

Small group of fellowship and service who enjoy knitting and other crafty projects. Bring whatever you are working on and join us for conversation and crafting.

Disciple 1 Bible Study

Leader: Tracy Spencer

Location: Rokeby Conference Room

Some might call this a midlife crisis, but I found myself turning forty without a good solid understanding of the Bible even though I had accepted Christ in my early teens.  It seems relocating several times for work and finally starting my own business were excuses I had used to avoid reading the Bible and committing to a regular Bible study program.  Fortunately for me, First United Methodist Church began offering a Bible Disciples program.  Completing this 34 week program gave me a greater understanding of my faith and has given me more confidence to talk about my faith to others, and willingness to continue in a more regular study. 

This fall starting September 4th, First Church is bringing the original Disciple I Bible study program back for anyone currently longing for a deeper foundation in their understanding of biblical scriptures.  The weekly format of reading, video, and group peer discussion is a proven, fast moving, and fun method to study.  If you have interest, or want to learn more, please contact me or Carol Cooper for more information.

The first study in the program is DISCIPLE: BECOMING DISCIPLES THROUGH BIBLE STUDY, a thirty-four week overview of the entire Bible. Disciple is an incredible way to study the Bible and learn more about God’s Word. It requires 3-4 hours of work each week and a weekly meeting with the group of around 2 1/2 hours.