Christ United Methodist Church

Bring your Faith to Life with Connect Groups


Faith→Life: Learn from Christ’s Teachings

September – November 2019

We offer many ways to connect with others at CUMC.  It’s the Wesleyan way!  There are six-week Connect Groups, Connect Groups that meet weekly, Connect Groups that meet once a month, Sunday morning classes, Short-term classes, and Third Sunday Forums.  If you are new to Christ Church or a long time member, these groups provide an opportunity to grow friendships, faith, and outreach in meaningful ways.  So this is a personal invitation for you to participate in at least one of these outstanding opportunities.


Short-Term Classes

Stay tuned to our Facebook Page or check back here periodically for information as it arrives.

Ongoing Classes

Inquiring Spirits – After the 9am worship service (except Third Sunday of each month)  Room 145 

Facilitators: Hank Kliewer and Ed Shafer

Discussion varies on books, videos, and other sources to investigate and challenge theological boundaries.  The group enjoys occasional picnics and potlucks.  All are welcome. 


Contemporary Issues – After the 9am worship service (except Third Sunday of each month) Room 146

Facilitator: Joel Charlson

Discussion is centered on current issues, news reports, and media viewpoints that shape public opinions. A United Methodist faith perspective will inform each unique session.  Visitors and seekers are especially welcome. 

NEW THIS FALL Chewing on the Word – After the 9am worship Fireside Room & 11am worship Commons

Discussion of the weekly Scripture text used for the sermon.  Everyone is invited! If you interested in knowing more about the Scripture and how it might impact your daily life; this class is for you!  Lunch will be provided for those attending the 11:00 worship service.

- Connect Groups -

Connect Groups: These groups will meet weekly for six weeks or monthly.  The time and focus of the group will be centered around a shared issue or activity.  The duration of the gathering is one hour.  The core of the time together is developing relationship with the Holy and with each other.  Groups will meet on site at church, in coffee houses/restaurants, or in homes. 

Six Week Connect Groups

Breakfast Fellowship 2nd Wednesday of each month, 8:30 am Charlie’s Restaurant at Hillcrest

Hosts: Amy Humphrey and Dean Swanson

Come and meet old and new friends, have breakfast, and enjoy each other’s company that’s fellowship!  New members are always welcome to drop in; no age group designation, no registration required, come and leave as your schedule permits.


Bridge 101 Thursday 1 pm CUMC Church Library

Host: Karen Hewitson

Have you always wanted to learn how to play bridge, but didn’t know how to begin?  Now is your opportunity to start at the beginning and learn this game.  Classes are offered once a week on two different days. Four is the limit per group, so sign up right away if you want to begin playing this great game!

CUMC Knitters Wednesday mornings 10:00 – 12:00, September 18 - Thanksgiving Fireside Room

Host: Marjie Blaisdell

Get together with others to knit prayer shawls, hats and mittens for Christmas Anonymous and other items to donate.

The God Who Sees Discussion Group Wednesdays, 6 pm, September 25 - October 30 Fireside Room

Come have dinner at CU Wednesday and stay for a thought-filled discussion of the Congregational Read book, The God Who Sees, by Karen Gonzalez. The book is available for purchase in the church office for $13.00.

Exploration and Application of Restorative Justice 6:30 - 8:00pm October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, & November 6 Assissi Heights Spirituality Center

Hosts: Rev. Kendall Hughes and Sister Sue Rief

Registration Required: $25 for 6 sessions, preregistered/prepaid online at select ”Events” or call 507-280-2195, AHSC Event Coordinator

Restorative Justice sees crime as a break in the relationship of the individual and their community.    It seeks to restore relationship and bring healing to both the accused and the victim.  Little Book of Restorative Justice by Howard Zehr will be used, which you may wish to purchase before the class.

Healing the Heart of Democracy by Parker Palmer Thursday evenings at 7:00 pm, September 26 – November 7 Estry’s home(email

Hosts: Kathy and Dick Estry

This book study is about us, “We the People”, and what we can do in everyday settings like families, neighborhoods, classrooms, congregations, and workplaces to resist divide-and-conquer politics and restore a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”  We’ll explore Palmer’s five “habits of the heart”: 1) an understanding that we are all in this together, 2) an appreciation of the value of “otherness”, 3) an ability to hold tensions in life-giving ways, 4) a sense of personal voice and agency, and 5) a capacity to create community.

Intersecting Race and Social Class 10:10 am Sundays, September 22, October 6, 13, and 27, & November 17 Room 135

Hosts: Rev. Kendall Hughes, Bobbi Nichols, Kristin Perry, Nicholas Wysocki

The third in a series of discussions on race will help participants examine the intersection of race and social class as examined in Strangers in their Own Land, by Arlie Hochschild. The discussions provide a welcoming social and intellectual space to explore a difficult subject that has historically divided us as spiritual beings. We welcome members of the congregation to join us as we learn and grow together. No sign up needed.

Resources on the three themes: Race and the Criminal Justice System, Decentering Whiteness for Racial Equality, and Race and Social Class are available on the CUMC website.

 Pie Making Thursdays at 6:00 pm, September 19, October 17 and November 21 CUMC Kitchen

Host: Tracy McCray

This group is limited to 8 – 9 members Whether you love to bake or have never rolled out a crust, let’s get baking in the church kitchen. Pie is great for the soul!

DINNER CLUB - groups will decide their time and place of meeting  

Facilitator: Mary Schmidt and Marjie Blaisdell

Join this popular group to meet new friends and “catch up” with old ones while sharing a meal in homes or restaurants.

GARDENING MINISTRY Meetings will be announced as needed.

Facilitator: Mary Schmidt

Help care for CUMC’s piece of the Earth. Bring your own gloves and gardening tools if you have them. Contact Mary at if you are interested in being notified of opportunities to weed, mulch, and plant!

Ongoing Connect Groups

Connect Groups that meet weekly and welcome new members:

2:00 PM – Monday – Women’s Discussion Group/Fireside Room                         

11:00 AM – Tuesday – Men’s Discussion Group/CUMC Library

1:00 PM – Tuesday – Covenant Discipleship Group/Fireside Room

7:30 AM – Thursday – Men’s Coffee Group/Room 145                   

8:30 AM – Thursday – Covenant Discipleship Group/Family Room

4:00 PM – Thursday – Women’s Group/Fireside Room

10:00 AM – 2nd & 4th Friday – Women and the Sacred/Fireside Room

- Congregational Read -

A book selected by clergy that everyone is invited to read individually or in a Connect Group.  Sunday Worship, September 22 – October 27 will follow the themes found in this book.

The God Who Sees: Immigrants, the Bible, and the Journey to Belong by Karen Gonzalez

This is a riveting story of seeking safety in another land, and a gripping journey of loss, alienation, and belonging.  In The God Who Sees, Karen Gonzalez recounts her family’s migration from the instability of Guatemala to making a new life in Los Angeles and the suburbs of south Florida. 

It is also the sweeping epic of immigrants and refugees in Scripture. Abraham, Hagar, Joseph, and Ruth, intrepid heroes of the faith, cross borders and seek refuge.  As witnesses to God’s liberating power, they name the God they see at work, and they become grafted onto God’s family tree.


- Third Sunday Forums -

All are welcome!  Third Sunday of the month at 10:15 – 11 AM in the Hamline Room.    These forums cover a wide range of topics of interest and are given by insightful guest speakers.  No registration required; just bring your cup of coffee and enjoy the presentation followed by Q & A


September 15: “Healthy, Effective Pre-School Care and Education” Tanya Goretzki, Director of Thrive!

October 20: “Building Self-Healing Communities: Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences” Janet Guderian BSN, PHN Olmsted County Public Health, School Based Services

November 17: “Art as Introverted Activism Project” CUMC Racial Justice Issues Team

 Watch the Sunday bulletins, Fresh Spirit email, and the New Spirit newsletters for other offerings as they become available!

Child Care is available every Sunday and for all groups and classes upon request