Welcome to Small Group Ministry

Small Group HOSTs

To learn about being a small group HOST, you can access our HOST instructional videos online here.

Download the Small Group Guidelines and Agreement.

Questions? Contact Pastor Mary Bauer at mbauer@felc.com or Jeanne Gronholm at jgronholm@felc.com.

At First English, we are feeling called to move beyond shallow relationships by becoming A Counter-Cultural Community. Grounded in the love of Jesus, God’s Spirit fosters deep, joy-filled connections and a sense of belonging to participants, while moving outward to bring hope and acceptance to a larger community. A Counter-Cultural Community forgoes fear and suspicion of the unknown to foster the loving care that Jesus demonstrated throughout his life. We work toward A Counter-Cultural Community by sharing our stories, celebrating together, serving society’s larger needs, and experiencing God’s presence together. It is a community where all are truly welcome.

Download the Study Guide:            Booklet Printable           Online Reading

Oct. 13, DS and Oct. 20, NS:  Community of Love-In a faith-filled counter-cultural community we are loved by Christ and that love overflows. By sharing our stories we form deep bonds that hold through difficult times.

Oct. 20, DS and Oct. 27, NS:  Community of Celebration-In a faith-filled counter-cultural community, celebration hones a life-long identity (vs. shallow time-limited connection) that allows us not to forget ourselves, but to find ourselves. This joy fuels compassion and inspires us to bring joy to others.

Oct. 27, DS and Nov. 3, NS:  Community of Service-In a faith-filled counter-cultural community our deep bonds naturally flow into mutual (not one-directional or power-based) acts of caring (not pity) that bring a sense of belonging (mutually vulnerable).

Nov. 3, DS and Nov. 10, NS:  Community of God’s Presence-In a faith-filled counter-cultural community we never act alone and God’s presence gives us the strength to love deeply, is the source of our joy, and gives us the courage to be vulnerable -to care for others and to be cared for by others.

Nov. 10, DS and Nov. 17, NS: A Community of Inclusion-In a faith-filled counter-cultural community, Jesus empowers us to move beyond fear and shallow connections into a community where all are known, accepted, and belong.

To start or join a small group studying A Counter-Cultural Community, contact Pastor MaryJeanne Gronholm, or call the Church Office at 733-2303.

*DS=Downtown Site; NS=North Site


Joyful Journey Study

“Joy is the serious business of heaven.” C.S. Lewis

The Easter season brings us face to face with the resurrected Christ - and deep into all our doubts and questions. In a society that values cynicism over belief, we can be dubious about any statement that  begins, “I believe…” Further, when we allow our lives to be ruled by our doubts, we abandon our journey into the joy of God. This Easter season, learn what it means to follow Jesus, to glimpse our risen Lord and the world of joy into which we are called. The study follows the sermon topics listed below.

Discovering Joy: God’s joy can keep you from grounding your identity in doubt.

Discipleship of Joy: Discipleship is more than a death-march into an ethical but boring life.

Delighted in by God: Lewis says we are, “loved by God…delighted in as an artist delights in his work.”

Journey to Peace: Joy leads us into peace as we live each moment in God’s presence.

Journey into Unity: Joy leads us into unity with common values lived out humbly before God.


Joyful Journey Sermon Series

Sermon One Highlights: Discovering Joy
Download Discovering Joy Study Sheets.

Sermon Two Highlights: Discipleship of Joy
Download Discipleship of Joy Study Sheets.

Sermon Three Highlights: Delighted in by God
Download Delighted in by God Study Sheets.

Sermon Four: Journey to Peace
Download Journey to Peace Study Sheets.

Sermon Five: Journey into Unity
Download Journey into Unity Study Sheets.


Fearless Faith

How do you deal with the chaos of life in the 20th century? In addition to daily frustrations and worries, eventually, we all encounter the larger fears that are part of being human: the fear of being alone; the fear of failure; and the fear of suffering. Our sermon-based study, “Fearless Faith”, is meant to give tools to help deal with the daily frustrations and the larger fears that are part of everyday life. The study uses ideas from the book, Purity of Heart Is to Will One Thing by Soren Kierkegaard – an amazingly insightful look into Christian living. The book is not used for the book for the study, but for those who enjoy philosophy, it is well worth your time to read it.


Fearless Faith Sermons
Download the study booklet here.

Sermon One: Listening to Act for the Good

Sermon Two: What is the Good?

Sermon Three: The Fear of Loneliness

Sermon Four: The Fear of Failure

Sermon Five: The Fear of Suffering

Sermon Six: Willing One Thing