CONNECT! Relational structures like small groups are an integral part of “being” the church (and not just “doing” church) through time spent together learning, celebrating, and supporting each other. Some groups are on-going throughout the year and some form during Lent. Details, locations, dates and sign-up information can be found in the church office, Sunday bulletins and by emailing Dawna Welch, Pastor of Spiritual Formation at

Fall, 2019 CONNECT! 

Sunday Morning Spiritual Formation: 

Friendship Class  with Al Clark/10:45 a.m./ Social Hall                       

This year Friendship Class will engage Professor Bart Ehrman’s lectures on early Christianity.  He will help the class understand how Christianity began and how the teachings of Jesus developed into the religion about Jesus.  So much took place in the three centuries from the start of Jesus’s public ministry to Christianity’s conquest of the Roman Empire under Constantine, and this laid the foundation of Christian religion as we know it:  the New Testament Canon, the Doctrine of the Trinity, Christian liturgy, and more.  On September 15 Dr. Ehrman will present and the class will discuss how Christianity was born out of the belief that Jesus had risen from the dead.  The following week the topic will be “The Religious World of Early Christianity,” and the last Sunday in September will summarize what is known about ”The Historical Jesus.”  There is no need to prepare or to commit to attending regularly.  Come when you can or are interested.  The class is friendly and the topic is the core of who we are. 

Purls of Wisdom; Many Knitter’s/One Project with Ashley and Barbara 10:45 a.m. / Church Library 

Join this group to help create Friendship Blankets one square at a time! Our goal is to create enough blankets by June to send each one of our graduating seniors out into the world with a physical expression of our support, encouragement, and love!  

Prayer for Skeptical Progressives with Reba Herder September 15-October 13/10:45 a.m. / Fireside Room 

Your prayer life reflects your theology, relationships, and self understanding.  In this class we’ll consider how doubts, differences, and dreams can make space for greater mystery and more effective action.  Each week will include a prayer practice, a topic for discussion, and a courageous conversation.   Discover a fresh perspective your strengths, beliefs, and choices.  Join us, if you dare! Reba is an ordained minister, credentialed teacher, and certified Enneagram instructor. 

LVCoBKIDS/10:45 a.m. / Yellow Room/K-5th Grade

During our first session of Spiritual Formation we will be exploring the story of Jesus and the woman at the well. We will explore how Jesus interacted with “outsiders” like the Samaritan woman and how we can follow his example today. We will explore this story through cooking, art, drama and more!  

LVCoB Spiritual Play/10:45 a.m./ Aqua Room/ Birth-Preschool 

Our littles will be exploring “love” through art, stories and play in a welcoming and safe environment.  

LVCoBYouth/10:45 a.m./Rainbow Room/6th -12th Grade

During our first session of Spiritual Formation we will be exploring how mental health and spirituality intersect with each other. We will experience spiritual practices to help us stay grounded and have open discussions about mental health in today’s culture.  

A Different God with John Gingrich 10:45 a.m. / Sanctuary East Room                             September 29 – October 13               

This class will explore an alternative way of thinking about God which is different from traditional views.  This approach is influenced by “Process Theology.”  Discussion will be an important part of these sessions. 

Mid-Week Small Groups Now Forming: 

Understanding White Privilege with Zandra Wagoner, Riley Davis and Susan Boyer/ Wednesday nights — September 11, 18, 25 and October 2/ 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. / Fireside Room / 4-week commitment required                        

Sign-ups will appear in the Sunday bulletin beginning August 18. This Connect! group invites those who identify as white to deepen your self-awareness of what it means to be white and offers beginning strategies for understanding oneself as a racial/cultural being, appreciating and understanding racial diversity, and becoming an aware person committed to developing a nonracist identity.  

On-Going Small Groups: 

WABS (Wednesday Afternoon Book Study) 2nd Wednesday of each month /4:00 p.m. /Church Library 

The Wednesday Afternoon Book Study group (WABS) will reconvene on Wednesday, September 11, to share our thoughts on the summer reading we have done. Among the books to be discussed are: 50 Things That Aren’t My Fault, by Cathy Guisewite; Unsheltered, by Barbara Kingsolver; Inspired, by Rachel Evans; and The Price of Paradise, by Susana Rubio. Whether you have read these books or just interested in hearing about them, there is room for more participants, so come join us as we share those works and other good reads. All are welcome! 

Justice Shorts /3rd Tuesday of each month/6:30 p.m./Fireside Room 

The Peace and Justice Commission has teamed up with Brave New Films to screen short films on social justice issues.  The films will be screened at 6:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month (right after Food Network).  For May we will be explore how gun trafficking and gun violence disproportionately affects poor communities of color.  Between 2001 and 2010, more Americans died from gun violence in Chicago than in the war in Afghanistan.  From 2009 to 2013, 60% of guns found at Chicago crime scenes were trafficked into the city from other states with weaker gun laws.  This is an urgent issue.  Come join the discussion on September 17 as we work for change.   

Menalogue coordinated by Greg Emrick/2nd Wednesday of each month / 7:00 p.m. / Fireside Room 

Men doing intentionally what women do naturally.  Guys of all ages are talking about favorite movies, faith, and stupid decisions they’ve made.  

Spiritual Cinema Circle with Jeannette Stone and Paul Hopping/Last Tuesday of each month/6:30 p.m. / Fireside Room  

Welcome back from summer break.  The September Spiritual Cinema Circle will feature The Healer, a story about a gambling, womanizing bankrupt electrical repairman named Alec Bailey (Oliver Jackson Cohen) who is traumatized by the death of his twin brother. His distant uncle Raymond Heacock (Jonathan Pryce) offers to absolve his debts under the condition that he agrees to live with him in Halifax, Nova Scotia. With no alternatives, Alec accepts and embarks on a life-changing journey as his uncle reveals that he comes from a long-time family of healers with the gift of being able to heal all those who are diseased. Trying to understand this gift and the new reality that it offers, Alec meets Cecilia (Camilla Luddington), a beauty and local veterinarian, and a teenage girl Abigail (Kaitlyn Bernard) with terminal cancer who unexpectedly show him the way. 

Bird Watching with Jeff Strogen/Saturday, September 21 / Malibu Lagoon/Legacy Park 8:00 a.m.   

Depart 7:00 a.m. from the La Verne Church of the Brethren (E Street side). Approximate return time:Noon (with option to return later, if staying for lunch). Join this group of nature lovers who will meet monthly to observe the beauty and diversity of God’s creation.  If you are interested in learning more or if you have questions, send Jeff an email: 

Euclid Median Walking with Terry Bennett/Monday evenings 6:00 p.m. / Meet at Pioneer Jr. High (Upland)  

Join this group for fun, friendship, and fitness as we walk from 18th street to Fire station and back. Bring good shoes and a flashlight.  

Monthly Sunday Lunch HOTSPOT/September 1 – 11:00 a.m. / Sal’s Pizza and Bagelry 

Hungry for lunch and conversation after church on Sunday? Come meet us at our weekly HOTSPOT. Bring your wallet and desire to CONNECT with the church family. Check Sunday bulletin for locations.  

Angel’s Share with Ciera Olsen/Last Saturday of the month/ Various Locations: Young adults who get together for drinks and conversations.

For more information on CONNECT! groups, email Dawna at