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.
Prayer Group – meets every Wednesday at 4 pm in the church office for sharing followed by silent prayer. Everyone is welcome.
Book Study – meets every Thursday afternoon from 3:30 pm to 5 pm at the church office. Everyone is welcome. We usually begin with a time of prayer and/or silence. 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. Some of the books we’ve studied in the past include:
- “Revelations” by Elaine Pagels
- “A History of God” by Karen Armstrong
- “The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective” by Richard Rohr and Andreas Ebert
- “The Gnostic Gospels” by Elaine Pagels
- “Underground Church” by Robin Meyers.
- “Zealot” by Reza Aslan
New Member Orientation Classes are scheduled on an as needed basis.
Other events and classes are scheduled as the desire and needs arise. In the last few years, 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.
Peer Ministers are special volunteers available to provide a listening ear and other simple, temporary assistance as appropriate, such as organizing meals for a family during a time of need. The names of those currently serving as peer ministers are always listed in our weekly newsletter. If you currently attend Phoenix and are in need, please feel free to contact a peer minister or the pastor. If they can’t help, they will try to find someone who can. If you are new to Phoenix, please contact the Pastor first via the church office.
If you are interested in serving as a peer minister, please let one of the existing peer ministers or the Pastor know and we will discuss this opportunity with you further.
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-profits 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 menu above. We also collect special offerings twice a year in support of special missions of the UCC, including the Neighbors in Need and One Great Hour of Sharing offerings.
Supporting the internal workings of Phoenix Community Church is also important to our vitality and spiritual health. People are often needed for things such as short-term special task forces, projects such as writing a document, or office and computer work. At the Sunday evening service we need people willing to serve as greeters, people to set up and take down the chairs, and the pastor often needs someone to 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. The other committees report to the Steering Committee, which in turn is responsible to the church community.
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.