Nurturing Faith through Expressive Arts

In addition to traditional faith formation, many programs are offered at NCC that speak to alternative ways we come to know God. Traditional paths might include Church School, Bible Study Breakfast and Disciple classes — but the alternative paths to God are many. God speaks to our hearts in different ways and therefore the paths to know God can be different as well.

The connection between creativity and spirituality is undeniable: at NCC we connect the two, playfully and seriously. We offer programs to bring that connection to the forefront of our minds and hearts, celebrating the uniqueness of each of our journeys. Other programs have opened opportunities to explore spirituality through creative book discussions (which are way more than just a book discussion), photography as a healing art, tai chi, Yoga and labyrinth walks. Special guests are often invited to bring their experience and expertise into our church family on topics that will challenge and deepen our understanding of faith.


Photography

Contemplative Photography meets twice each year for a series of weeks to discover God from behind the lens. It is an interactive program that requires use of a camera, and time outside of the group session. Each session will include prayer, reflection and discussion as well as sharing photos taken over previous weeks. All levels of ability are welcome to explore this creative path to the discovery that God is at eye level.

Drumming Circle

Community Drum Circle meets the 4th Friday of each month from 7-8 p.m.. All are welcome to experience the holy thunder of African hand drums and no experience or instruments are necessary. Kate Brodaski guides a group of members and friends of NCC, through an hour of soulful ancient rhythms that current medical research has proven to induce deep relaxation, lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and is beneficial for a host of other medical conditions. If that doesn’t make you want to bang on your bongos, drumming is also considered a very spiritual practice. We have instruments or bring your own.

Labyrinth

The Labyrinth is an ancient symbol used as a spiritual tool for prayer and meditation, healing, conversion and transformation. Labyrinths can be found all over the globe. Various religious traditions-both ancient and contemporary have used them as tools for prayer, introspection, clarity and peace. There is no right or wrong way to walk the labyrinth. The labyrinth ministry at NCC consists of variations of labyrinth walks including trips to outdoor labyrinths, the construction of a seasonal labyrinth at McCook’s Beach, often led by Joanne Moore, and walks inside NCC on our own 24’ portable, poly-canvas, 8 circuit labyrinth. This labyrinth is also available for loan to other churches and community organizations.

Meditation

Meditation programs are offered periodically and are currently ongoing the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month from 6:00-7:30 p.m. facilitated by Carol Vara.

Anything Goes

Anything Goes is a multi-level monthly gathering of (what has turned out to be all women), who are interested in simplifying their lives through letting go and organizing their stuff. Through this process of lightening their load, through conversation about simple living, through sharing their treasures with others, and through an examination of their possessions, a life lived with greater intention emerges. What appears to be a rummage sale where everything is free becomes a spiritual experience that is cleansing, gratifying and a place to grow in relationship with God and ourselves.

How it works:

  1. Bring unwanted items that you want to give away. If you can carry it, you can bring it. Bring as much as you want.
  2. Bring one non-perishable food item for the NCC Food Pantry and a brown bag lunch to enjoy following the exchange.
  3. Each participant offers their items in turn. See what others have to give away and claim all you want. Any unclaimed items will be donated to charity immediately following our gathering.

Why does it work? Letting go of what we no longer want/need makes room for what IS important to us. It is a process of discernment and discovery. You will discover the spirituality of being organized during thoughtful reflections and discussion over lunch. During lunch, you break bread and enjoy fellowship with like minded souls. And finally, you support the NCC emergency food pantry.

Anything Goes meets at 10 a.m. on the 3rd Monday of each month.

 

Soup & Soul

Each Wednesday during Lent, we hold a discussion series typically focused on a book that helps us explore aspects of spirituality and faith. We meet on Wednesday evenings at 5:30 p.m., enjoy a simple meal of soup and bread, and then discuss the book we’re reading. Members of the group are encouraged to take turns bringing the supper or leading discussion. Examples of recent authors include Brother Lawrence, John Dominic Crossan, Maya Angelou, Marcus Borg, Donna Schaper, and Henri Nouwen.


Devotional Resources

Our days get so busy, so pulled in different directions, that it can be difficult to find a way of turning back to the source and ground of our lives. One helpful tool for doing so is a daily reading that reflects on the scripture that draws us into God’s embrace, or on the spiritual traditions of Christianity. Below are links to four “daily devotionals” that you can subscribe to, and then receive by email.

Still Speaking Daily Devotional

The United Church of Christ publishes a daily one-page message, written by UCC clergy. Each quotes a verse of scripture, offers a reflection, and concludes with a prayer. Click here to sign up, or to view archived devotionals.

Center for Action and Contemplation

Father Richard Rohr, OFM, is a Franciscan priest whose writings have gained a wide following among Christians of many denominations. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Inward Outward

Inward-Outward (Seeking the Depths) is a project of the Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC. It offers “Daily Words” with brief quotations from inspirational writers, both ancient and contemporary. Click here to see the Daily Words page, or click here to sign up.

Henri Nouwen

The Henri Nouwen Society offers Daily Meditation emails year-round and Weekly Reflection emails during Advent and Lent. Click here to read more and sign up.

Events

Oct
6
Fri
Crystal Bowl Meditation (Sanctuary)
Oct 6 @ 6:30 pm
Crystal Bowl Meditation (Sanctuary)

A Crystal Bowl Meditation takes place in the Sanctuary on Thursday, November 2 at 1 p.m., and Friday, October 6 and December 8 at 6:30 p.m.. This free gift is being offered by Donna Hathaway and is a Nurturing Faith activity sponsored by Parish Life Ministry.  Join us!

Oct
7
Sat
The Path to Real and Lasting Inner Peace (FR)
Oct 7 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
The Path to Real and Lasting Inner Peace (FR)

The Path To Real And Lasting Inner Peace is a book study program being presented by author and marriage and family therapist, Jane Milardo, at Niantic Community Church. The program will guide participants in how to let go of old negative feelings, and find peace and serenity in life. With a broad range of experience in mental health work, Milardo, who has a private practice in Niantic, believes that with an open mind and an open heart, anything is possible. She is motivated to help others become their happiest and most authentic selves, and hopes to do that through her book.

The six week program is free and being offered Saturdays from 12:00-1:30 p.m. beginning October 7.  Registration is required by calling the church office at (860)739-6208. Books ($10) are available there as well and all are welcome. Niantic Community Church is located at 170 Pennsylvania Ave., Niantic.

Will meet October 7, 2017, October 14, 2017, October 21, 2017, October 28, 2017, November 4, 2017, November 18, 2017

Oct
12
Thu
Knowing Your Camera – The Camera as a spiritual tool (M)
Oct 12 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Knowing Your Camera - The Camera as a spiritual tool (M)

Two photography programs offered this fall.:  Knowing Your Camera will give you some tools to improve your photography skills, while  Contemplative Photography will invite you into a deeper relationship with God through your camera lens. No experience or fancy camera needed. Offered on 4 alternating Thursday evenings…check the dates on the church website, bulletin or newsletter. Knowing Your Camera is presented by Craig Woody and Contemplative Photography is presented by Community Minister, Patty Chaffee. Register in the church office or call 860-739-6208.

Oct
14
Sat
The Path to Real and Lasting Inner Peace (FR)
Oct 14 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
The Path to Real and Lasting Inner Peace (FR)

The Path To Real And Lasting Inner Peace is a book study program being presented by author and marriage and family therapist, Jane Milardo, at Niantic Community Church. The program will guide participants in how to let go of old negative feelings, and find peace and serenity in life. With a broad range of experience in mental health work, Milardo, who has a private practice in Niantic, believes that with an open mind and an open heart, anything is possible. She is motivated to help others become their happiest and most authentic selves, and hopes to do that through her book.

The six week program is free and being offered Saturdays from 12:00-1:30 p.m. beginning October 7.  Registration is required by calling the church office at (860)739-6208. Books ($10) are available there as well and all are welcome. Niantic Community Church is located at 170 Pennsylvania Ave., Niantic.

Will meet October 7, 2017, October 14, 2017, October 21, 2017, October 28, 2017, November 4, 2017, November 18, 2017

Oct
16
Mon
Anything Goes (FR) @ Fellowship Room
Oct 16 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Anything Goes (FR) @ Fellowship Room

…minimize, simplify, organize

How it works:

  1. Bring unwanted items that you want to give away. If you can carry it, you can bring it. Bring as much as you want.
  2. Bring one non-perishable food item for the NCC Food Pantry and a brown bag lunch to enjoy following the exchange.
  3. Each participant offers their items in turn. See what others have to give away and claim all you want. Any unclaimed items will be donated to charity immediately following our gathering.

Why?

  1. Because it’s an opportunity to clean out, get organized. Letting go of what we no longer want/need, makes room for what IS important to us.
  2. Discover the spirituality of being organized during thoughtful reflections and discussion over lunch.
  3. Break bread and enjoy fellowship with like minded souls.
  4. Support the NCC emergency food pantry.

10 a.m. on the 3rd Monday of each month

For more information on any of these programs, contact: