Small Groups

Building Relationships

Our Zoom small groups meet on a weekly basis for four to eleven weeks.

The first purpose of all our small groups is to build relationships among participants as we get to know ourselves and each other better.

In these fellowship groups, we also focus on a theme or a book as a way to keep learning and growing and to help us have good conversations. Groups generally fall under the categories of Faith Journeys, Race Conversations, or Bible Study.

Further down this page you can scan the topics around which our fall 2023 groups gathered. If that sparks your curiosity and you would like to be part of a future small group, connecting with five to seven other people via Zoom for a time of fellowship, relationship building, and spiritual formation, please email Simon Crow.

We have two groups starting in February, both following up on the Michigan Avenue Forum with Robert P. Long and his book, The Hidden Roots of White Supremacy and the Path to a Shared American Future.

From the description of the Forum –

Dr. Jones tells how the founders of the United States built the philosophical framework for a democratic society on a foundation of mass racial violence — and why this paradox survives today in the form of white Christian nationalism.

He connects the murder of Emmett Till and the Spanish conquistador Hernando De Soto in the Mississippi Delta, the lynching of three Black circus workers in Duluth and the mass execution of thirty-eight Dakota men in Mankato, and the murder of 300 African Americans during the burning of Black Wall Street in Tulsa with the Trail of Tears. Jones illuminates the possibility of a new American future in which we finally fulfill the promise of a pluralistic democracy.

Thursdays, 12:00–1:00 p.m.
5 weeks, starting February 8

Leaders: Eva Chess and Cynthia Joho

Wednesdays, 5:30–7:00 p.m.
4 weeks, starting February 14

Leader: Regan Burke

And then more groups starting after Easter.

For questions or to sign up, contact Simon Crow.

Dancing in the Darkness: Spiritual Lessons for Thriving in Turbulent Times
by the Reverend Dr. Otis Moss III

Joint study with First Presbyterian Church

Tuesdays, 4:00-5:30 p.m. (4 weeks)
• On Zoom for three weeks
• In person one Sunday for worship and conversation at First Presbyterian Church, 6400 S. Kimbark
Led by Jerry and Karen Johnson with Dionne Jones of First Presbyterian

Dancing in the Darkness is a life-affirming guide to the practical, political, and spiritual challenges of our day. Drawing on the teachings of Dr. King, Howard Thurman, sacred scriptures, global spiritual traditions, Black culture, and his own personal experiences, Dr. Moss instructs readers on how to practice spiritual resistance by combining justice and love."

Faith Journeys

Tuesdays, 5:30–6:30 p.m. (5 weeks)
Led by Simon Crow and Deborah Oberschelp (no book needed)

This group provides an opportunity to reflect on your own faith journey and to share that as a way to connect. Discussion questions, shared in advance, help you think about significant people, places, events, and turning points in your faith journey. No advance reading is required, but you’ll have things to think over.

Facing the Mountain by Daniel James Brown

Wednesdays, 5:30–6:30 p.m. (6 weeks)
Led by Lisa Garay and Janet Love

This group discusses Daniel James Brown's unforgettable and deeply researched account of the Japanese American experience during World War II, Facing the Mountain.

It offers opportunity to learn about a less-explored aspect of the war through the real-life experiences of several families, from the war experiences of the young men to their families back home as they are forced to move from their homes into concentration camps on U.S. soil.

The group covers one section of the book each week, exploring the experiences of these families during that difficult time and sharing our thoughts and reactions to these learnings with each other. Discussions also generate recall of our own understanding and stories of World War II as they relate to or contrast with the stories shared in the text. As we share our individual perspectives, we learn about how the retelling of stories and shared experiences can enrich and strengthen our collective spirit.

The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis

Thursdays, 6:00–7:15 p.m. (11 weeks)
Led by Robin Erickson

This in-depth 11-week Zoom group studies each chapter separately of The Problem of Pain. Author C.S. Lewis examines why a benevolent and omnipotent God would permit suffering and pain in the world, suggesting that pain serves both as a tool for spiritual growth and as a consequence of human free will in a divinely created universe.

For more information about small group opportunities, contact Simon Crow (312.573.3369).

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126 E. Chestnut Street
(at Michigan Avenue)
Chicago, Illinois 60611.2014
(Across from the Hancock)

For events in the Sanctuary,
enter from Michigan Avenue

Getting to Fourth Church

Receptionist: 312.787.4570

Directory: 312.787.2729



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