Discussion Groups

Grass Valley Church Wednesday Dinners

Submitted to the Fellowship Google Group, by Glenda Buda:

A few years ago I was serving as First Reader and I was praying each week as to how  to “be” the Christ in my church community. How could I be a better foot-washer:-)

The Bible reminds us, in several passages, that we each have unique talents to contribute to the greater good. One of my gifts, one of the unique ways that I could express support and love for my community, was in my ability to serve as “hostess.”

I noticed that there were several individuals who had gotten out of the “habit” of coming on Wednesday evenings. Yet, I would see them if it was more of a “social” gathering. My husband and I live about 10 minutes from church, we have a large home that accommodates groups well and hosting comes very naturally to us. So, I offered those natural gifts from God as a way of doing my part to embrace Wednesday Evenings  and as a way to put arms around each person in our church community.

GrassValley Wed dinnerI found that instead of offering an invite way in-advance, it was nice to be a bit more casual and spontaneous and see who could come. Especially being Reader with the joy of listening and planning for the Readings on Wednesday, i allowed for my own flexibility and when it seemed I had “open” space it worked best for me to email the group Sunday night before the Wednesday. I offered to provide the entrée (Lasagna or spaghetti – any hearty dish that can be made ahead…or even frozen, so that the “work” would be kept to a minimum for me as Practitioner and Reader, at the time. I also provided the beverages and then invited the others to fill-in with salads, desserts, fruit, bread and Parmesan cheese:-)

Our Wednesday meetings begin at 7:30 and I found that starting the potluck promptly at 5:30 gives us plenty of time to eat and love on one another:-)

Then about 7:15 (unless someone is serving in church) we all leave for church and have a great sense of oneness of purpose and support.

When I Read, I would leave ahead of everyone else and arrive at church about a half hour or so before the service to quietly set up.

And, just a side note of logistics here…we have a pretty good size membership…so, I divide it up in about thirds…and simply rotate throughout the membership over a period of time…some overlapping occurring each time. I’m kind of formal and have lovely dishes and linens so I invite the amount I can offer chairs for and support in all those recyclable materials-HA!  But, anyone could use plastic and paper. This is just us:-) It’s the Love that counts, NOT the presentation.

Now, what it is doing for the members:

It’s hard to speak for everyone…but the responses are  overwhelmingly heartfelt expressions of feeling cared for, loved, included, united, beloved…more KNOWN…if I can put it that way. The members (and non-members)  feel like a special family.

There’s a greater sense of intimacy that seems to open people up to asking for support, getting them more involved, making them feel more “committed”. They are not just numbers on a roster….this interaction seems to prompt thoughts ( then feelings…feelings come from thoughts, actually:-) of loyalty..not in an obligatory sense ( from the outside) but in a deeply, loving, connected sense from the Christ within. This seems to help prompt a “face-to-face” relationship among church members.

That “face-to-face” is important because it’s in that Christly view –so focused- so “face to face” with God, that we see and feel the Christ among us, within us, as The Holy Ghost. That is the transformation that serves  and heals.

Now, that Holy Ghost is not dependent on food, or human gatherings…but, because The Holy Ghost is actively working among us…it may appear as the call to have a supper together before Wednesday, sometimes:-) This is simply one kind of opportunity to be witness to what that Holy Ghost does!

Summit Video: NorCal Church Alive Summit Welcome (Fri PM)


Summit kick-off focused on fellowship and music, member to member sharing, and an inspiring look at church today.

The Northern California Church Alive Summit begins Friday evening with a gathering around a metaphorical campfire.
Program includes contemporary arrangements of hymns, video of some of the best thinking about today’s church from other Christians, an inspirational talk by George Strong, entitled “Church on Fire”, and participant sharing from discussions on Church and Christianity.

Please also see this video clip that was shown Friday evening at the Summit but was not included in this video:

“The Campfire Story” by Rend Collective Experiment

Produced as a part of the Northern California Church Alive Summit, held in Sacramento May 3-5, 2013. This is an activity for members and friends of the Christian Science church community.

Discussion Groups: Let’s keep the conversation flowing!

The discussions at the 2o13 Northern California Church Alive Summit were just the beginning! Here are two ways to participate in ongoing discussions:

  1. Conference calls. Check back here for a schedule of calls on specific topics.  Participants will be given a number to call (from FreeConferenceCall.com) along with a passcode. There’s no charge to participate; you just pay your regular phone rates.

  2. Email discussion groups. Join one or more groups to connect with friends and other church members across the region to share ideas and inspiration, ask questions, and make plans. To get started, click on the name of a topic area of interest (from the list below). That will take you to the home page of the particular Google email group where you can sign up. Click on “Apply for membership” to request access. You should be approved to join the group within 24 hours. Each group has a host or two to nurture the conversation and help with technical questions.


NorCal Church Alive — Fellowship
Individual spiritual growth builds on the collective, on the fellowship and support we give and gain from one another. There are many avenues for church families to come together, break bread, share ideas, and look outward.

NorCal Church Alive — Services
Let’s look at church services with a fresh eye from the perspective of the newcomer and the next generation of participants. What about music, sensitive use of translations, and…?

NorCal Church Alive — Sunday Schools
How can Sunday School be an active spiritual connection for youth’s growth throughout the week and provide both a grounding in the Pastor and relevant inspiration and tools for daily life? Let’s explore ideas and resources together!

NorCal Church Alive — Christian Science Parenting
Looking for an opportunity to talk with and be inspired by others who use Christian Science as the basis of their parenting? Let’s build a supportive community that tackles the issues and recognizes the blessings together!


NorCal Church Alive — Including our Communities
How do we begin to reach out into our communities, to discover their needs and put our churches to work to bless?

NorCal Church Alive — Engaging with the Faith Community
How do we begin to engage with fellow Christians, as well as individuals of other faiths, to build on common ground and a desire to bless others? Let’s explore both opportunities for this outreach and how we enter the conversation.

NorCal Church Alive — Reading Rooms
Reading Rooms are a Manual provision that offer huge potential to bless from within the community. Let’s share ideas and examples of an expanded sense of Reading Rooms.

NorCal Church Alive — Lectures
Lectures are a Manual provision that offer wonderful potential to share inspiring ideas and dialog with others within the community. Let’s share ideas and examples of an expanded sense of lectures.

NorCal Church Alive — Christian Science Practice
Whether as Christian Science practitioners, nurses, chaplains or active workers in the field, how can we cultivate and expand our healing practice?