Small Group Ministry

If you are looking for ways to draw closer to people in the church community, to nourish your heart and spirit, and to engage your mind in stimulating conversation, our small group ministry program may be for you. Each small group consists of 6-10 people who meet regularly to share and listen around a variety of topics.

The thing that sets a Small Group Ministry apart from other types of meetings is the format of sharing. Each member shares in turn, uninterrupted and without immediate response from others. This type of sharing allows people to speak more freely and listen more deeply to others.

Some groups meet on zoom and some meet in person. Some groups are led by one or two consistent facilitators and some rotate facilitation. Some make use of a monthly guide sent out by Rev. Annie that contains readings and questions, and others bring their own materials. Groups might meet once a month for 90 minutes or might choose to meet more regularly or for longer amounts of time.

Please direct questions to Rev. Annie at

How can I join a small group?

There are three ways to become part of a small group ministry at First Parish:

  1. Join one of our temporary groups that forms each year in the fall and meets November – April.
  2. Join an existing small group that is looking for new members.
  3. Create your own group outside of the annual temporary groups program.

The temporary groups are formed by Rev. Annie and meet monthly for 6 months, either on zoom or in person. Anyone can join one of these groups by signing up in the fall. These groups can choose to continue past April if members feel connected and interested or can simply end in the spring.

The existing groups are groups that meet in an ongoing fashion. When one of these groups has an opening due to someone in their group leaving the group, they will make this opening known to the congregation. Sometimes these groups are for a specific demographic (dads, moms of teens/young adults, retirees, men) and sometimes these groups are for anyone.

If you are hoping to form a new small group or have an idea for a group that would form around a specific interest or demographic, contact Rev. Annie and she can support you with this endeavor.

What small groups do we currently have?

Here is a list of our ongoing small groups as of Fall 2023:

We pause to be together in the present moment.
Our heart-centered group is a mosaic of souls listening, sharing and caring.  We meet on Zoom the 2nd Mondays of each month from 7-8:30 pm.  We have multiple facilitators and build our sharing off of the Soul Matters curriculum.  At the end of each cycle of small group ministry, we welcome fluidity in group membership and encourage all who are drawn to the group to express their interest.

Members: Melinda Ballou,  Marya Danzer, Karen Frederick, Dianne Marston, Carol Reynolds, Janice Warila, and Nancy Willett.

The Friday Afternoon Small group
This group is made up of 10 women who care about and support each other in the joy and challenges of life.  This group meets on Friday afternoons on Zoom every other week from 1:30 – 3:00.  Marcia Morgan is the coordinator of this group, but the members of the group take turns in choosing the topic and leading the discussions.

The other members of the group are Sara Angus, Joan Bowen, Leslie Corin-Ash, Peggy Duesenberry, Mercedes Kane, Meg LeSchack, Kath McCafferty, Luana Read & Nancy Willett.  Two of these members have moved away from the Bedford area but continue to join the group on Zoom.

Men’s Monday Small Group Ministry
A men’s small group ministry in its 10th year, we meet every other Monday eve.  We check in first, then engage questions around a new topic each time.  We avoid cross talk, – which helps us to practice listening, being present, and caring.  Patrick Oates and Dane Netherton co-facilitate.  We rotate the topic bringing and all of us try to hold our process in mind.

Our ages are roughly 50-75 and the members are: Andrew Van Praagh, Craig Jackson, Dean Groves, John McClain, Eric Hon-Anderson, Joe Pompei, Dane Netherton

Thoughtful, Purposeful Dads
We are dads who gather in person from 7:30 – 9:00 PM on the fourth Thursday of each month from January to May and September to November. We meet outdoors around a fire when weather permits, or indoors at church. We covenant to hold a space where each of us can reflect deeply, be vulnerable, share feelings openly, listen with full presence, be truly heard, and support each other in living our fullest lives as men and as intentional parents. The group is facilitated by Mark. Topics we’ve covered in the last year include acceptance, fear, gratitude, grief, renewal, community, intention, change, and purpose.

Members: Chris Gittins, Doug Denny-Brown, Ian Carroll, Jay Muelhoefer, Jimmy Martin, Brett Leida, Nathaniel Marcum, Peter Okamoto, Richard Kaiser, Shawn Hanegan

Women of Wonder (WOW)
We are a group of women currently ranging in age from 50’s – 70’s who meet once a month, generally on the 4th Sunday from 4-5:30.  We prefer to meet in person but do meet on Zoom as an alternative as needed.

We meet to share about our life experiences using theme based topic guides. We have one coordinator who sends reminders and makes sure there’s a facilitator and we share facilitation.  We currently have 8 members, though 2 are currently on sabbatical due to time constraints.  We are open to adding an additional 2 members of any age. We prefer to remain a women only group.

Members include Marge Heckman, Corinne Doud, Deb Edinger, Chris Wojnar, Laura Kalb, Anita Raj, Renu Bostwick, Carol Krusemark

Come Sit With Us
We are a group of busy moms with school-aged kids!

Members: Erin Campbell, Christie Martin, Stephanie Keep, Holly Munsie, Kiya Nicoll, Elizabeth Marcum, Stacey Katz, Elise Randazzo

The Mighty Monday Mamas
The Mighty Monday Mamas is a small group of women who are parents of teens and young adults. We mostly meet in person and sometimes zoom, one Monday evening per month, to share our lives using theme-based topic guides. We are also open to alternate formats.

One member serves as coordinator and sends reminders; we rotate facilitators who pick the meeting theme, readings and other content; and one member liaises with Annie. (Members list is available by contacting Rev. Annie.)

There are three additional groups whose names and members lists are not yet available.

Please direct questions to Rev. Annie at