Adult Faith Formation

Throughout the year, a variety of Adult Faith Formation opportunities are available through First Church. We hope you will find something that piques your interest and nourishes your faith. These classes are open to all and there are no fees unless mentioned in the blurbs below. Come back often to check out our schedule of adult education offerings. If you have questions or you are interested in leading a class or are looking for a specific topic, be sure to contact Debbie Houghton (


♦ ♦ ♦ See our May 2019 issue of Salt & Light to read up on our most recent plans! ♦ ♦ ♦



While some of our usual Sunday morning studies are wrapping up for a summer break, a couple of groups continue to meet on other days:

Bring your lunch and join us for this weekly midday hour-long drop-in Bible study. This is a great place to either begin a regular practice of reading Bible, or to ponder books of the Bible you have yet to read. Bring your lunch and join the conversation. Meets Tuesdays from 12-1pm in the Chapel.

Summer Brown Bag Study: The parables of Jesus are well known, beloved, and used to teach us all, from toddler to grandparent.  Join us in July as we read the parables in a 5-week Brown Bag study.  We will use both Amy-Jill Levine’s book, Short Stories By Jesus, and J. Ellsworth Kalas’s book, Parables from the Back Side to ask questions about these old stories. From July 2 through July 30.

Will you miss the voice of Rachel Held Evans? Join us for a summer book study of her last book, Inspired. With honest questions and expert scholarship, Evans wrestles with our favorite Bible stories, explores their contexts, and then connects these ancient stories to our present-day ones without checking her intellect–or her imagination–at the door. Meets Monday evenings June 24-July 29 at Green Wood; 6pm bring a sack dinner and eat in community; 6:30-7:30pm discussion led by Amy Kennedy and Debbie Houghton. (Please notify Amy Kennedy or Debbie Houghton if you require childcare.) Sign up for the discussion here:

Looking ahead to fall 2019, we are excited to launch “Ann Arbor First Church Reads.” The entire congregation is invited to read and discuss a provocative book entitled, Where Do We Go From Here? Honest Responses from Twenty-Four United Methodist Leaders, compiled by Kevin Slimp, following the February 2019 General Conference.

BOOKS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE: Beginning May 26 at Connections and on following Sundays at Lemonade on the Lawn you may purchase copies of Where Do We Go From Here? Honest Responses from Twenty-Four United Methodist Leaders, compiled by Kevin Slimp, plus copies of Rachel Held Evans’ book, Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again for the summer study. Both books available for $15 each through June 16. For more information, contact Debbie Houghton



Adult Faith Formation Sunday offerings are offered in a rotation schedule – each Sunday will focus on a different aspect of our spiritual lives:

Linking to the center – First Sundays
Living in creation – Second Sundays
Loving the community – Third Sundays
Learning to be Christ followers – Fourth Sundays

All classes meet in the same location and at the same time on Sundays: 11:00 am – 12:15 pm in Calkins Hall

FIRST SUNDAYS: Centering Through Faith  We are all searching for deeper meaning and divine connection in our life. Join us as we share and learn practices that nourish our faith journeys. Sessions will introduce centering practices like expressions of prayer, drumming circles, Advent yoga, and visio divina. Come along on the journey to learn and practice new (and very, very old) ways to celebrate the Divine and deepen your spiritual connection. Learn more about this offering and our current/future topics.
Fall 2019 plans:
October 6 – Forgiveness practice with Shonagh
November 4 – Breath prayer with Debbie
December 2 – Befriending the Inner Critic with Elaine

SECOND SUNDAYS: Conversations About Science and Religion  How do we bridge the gap between science and religion? Join Brian Fowlkes and our own FUMC science and medical community for conversations about experiences and struggles with faith, belief, and the place of God in scientific study.  Read more about our meetings and future plans.

THIRD SUNDAYS: Vital Conversations: An study on racial justice. Vital conversations are essential for every Christian community that strives to deepen individual and corporate faith and worship, bring new people into relationship with God, and to make a credible witness to the power of Christ and His church to transform the world for the better.  Read more about our meetings and future plans.  Our monthly meetings have concluded until fall 2019.

Are you curious about the challenges faced by those with disabilities? Do you have a disability and want to share your experiences? Join us for Disability Awareness Talks this winter and spring!  Each talk will begin with a presentation by a person experienced with the disability, and then will open up to group conversation. Becoming more aware is the first step in being more welcoming.
Fall 2019 plans:
September 22 – Getting Around with Limited Mobility
October 27 – Living with ADHD. (October is ADHD awareness month!)
We will then break for November and December; we will meet again January 26.


If your passion is in learning about and solving food insecurity issues in our community and in Michigan, please join us. Read more about our group and our upcoming plans.


VirtualStoreLogoIf you are interested in buying any of Adult Education books, please do so through our Cokesbury Virtual Store. First United Methodist Church benefits when you shop with Cokesbury using this link.

Please contact our Director of Adult Education, Debbie Houghton, or the church office for more information,