Learning from each other and caring for each other is an important part of our spiritual journey together. We, of course, do these things in the course of our normal interactions but we also have more formal ways, in addition to worship services, that enhance our growth together.
Book Study – meets every Thursday evening from 6:30 pm to 8 pm via Zoom (contact the church office for the connection info). Everyone is welcome. To minimize the amount of preparation and the need to purchase a book not everyone can afford, we read together during the gathering, alternating reading and discussion. New books are chosen as a group.
Spirit Talk is an informal discussion group that meets at 7 pm on the third Monday of the month at a local restaurant to talk about whatever spiritual questions happen to be on our mind that evening. Feel free to bring a friend and a question.
The Open and Affirming Team meets to foster a radical welcome, especially to the LGBTQ+ community, within and outside of Phoenix Community Church. We have hosted many events including Zoom workshops on what the Bible says about being LGBTQ+, hosting a Pride Sunday, using inclusive language, and queer theology.
Other events and classes are scheduled as the desire and needs arise. In the past, for example, we have sponsored classes on dream interpretation and on end of life issues. Events will be announced through various means including our email newsletter, online calendar, and the Sunday Worship bulletin. To suggest a class or event, contact the church office.
Ministries to the wider world vary as we identify how needs align with our call and passions. Phoenix Community Church has adopted a structure that allows people to fill the needs they feel called to. If someone envisions a mission and wants to contribute to the church community through that mission, they simply need to get approval from the Pastor or Church Moderator.
Supporting worthwhile causes financially is also very important. Phoenix Community Church’s policy is to give 5 percent of offerings to external mission projects. Some of this money goes to support the wider church and some goes to support other worthy causes, usually non-profit organizations in the Kalamazoo area.
We also support the wider church through participation in the meetings and events of the Southwest Association of the Michigan Conference of the United Church of Christ (UCC). For more information about these groups, visit the Links page in the Resources menu above. We also collect several special offerings in support of special missions of the UCC, including the Neighbors in Need, One Great Hour of Sharing and The Christmas Fund offerings.
Supporting the ongoing life of Phoenix Community Church is also important to our vitality and spiritual health. People are often needed for things such as short-term mission teams, projects such as writing a document, or office work. At the Sunday evening service we need people willing to serve as greeters, set up and take down the chairs, and read during the service. Whatever you can offer, Phoenix Community Church can use your gifts, whether it is cooking, artwork, musical or mechanical skills. Don’t get discouraged if it isn’t immediately clear how to volunteer. Ask questions and make sure that you get an answer and are connected with the right resources.
Some of the work of the church is done through committees. Committee work generally involves one 1 to 1.5 hour meeting per month. Special projects may require an additional time commitment. Committee members are usually elected at the congregational meeting in November. However, volunteers to help with projects are always welcome.
The Steering Committee handles the “business” of the church between our quarterly congregational meetings including finances, spiritual life, and missions and outreach issues.
The Pastor-Parish Committee fosters a healthy relationship between the pastor and the congregation. The committee encourages a relationship that is constructive, rewarding, and satisfying for everyone. The committee serves as a forum for input, counsel, discussion and feedback of issues which arise from the congregation and/or from the pastor.