mustard seed groups
Mustard Seed Groups are based on the Wesleyan Class Meeting. They offer spaces to ask each other questions like ‘How is it with your soul?’ Or, ‘where have you seen God this week?’ It is not a group therapy session to complain about your life. It is not a bible study to receive new information. It is not a closed group. Instead, it is an open gathering where people unfamiliar in the faith were free to participate and learn. The goal is transformational, not informational. The goal is to remind people of God’s love for them and goals for them through group solidarity as well as openness to bringing others into the fold.
Berkeley has had a number of adult spirituality and education opportunities over the years but class meetings are different in three important ways: (1) they are deeply embedded in Wesleyan theology and the history of the Methodist church. (2) They are outward facing. They are designed to be places of comfort and openness that anyone can be invited to (3) They are spaces to become more comfortable sharing about your own experience with God and how God is or can be a part of your life. If you would like more information on Mustard Seed Groups at Berkeley, please contact the office.
In the late 1980s, Berkeley pastor, Kim Cape, introduced the practice of spiritual formation groups, based on the work of Richard Foster’s. The intent of the group is 3-fold: supportive check-in, elucidation, and accountability. There are 6 of us currently who meet weekly, as we can, but the purpose and meaning of covenant group remains the same. The heart of covenanting is accountability, to God and to each other, and through that, we find guidance.
As we check in with each other, we share our struggles and blessings, but the group’s purpose is to keep us pointed to God at work in our lives and to ask “how have we made time for god in the prior week?” If you would like more information on our Covenant Groups, please contact Rachel Trudell.
bible and book studies
Berkeley UMC offers many opportunities for further study in Scripture beyond Sunday School throughout the year. There are seasonal book studies that happen during Lent and the Summer months. Currently, there is a group going through the Covenant Bible Study on Monday Nights. Covenant is an in-depth group bible study in which participants read and discuss the bible together, learning how to love god—and each other—better. For more information, you can visit the Covenant website. If you are interested in joining the group, this year or next, please contact Letha Peters or Pat Noll. Also, here is a testimony from Pat on her experience of studies through the years.