Small Groups


Agape Virtual Gatherings: Spiritual Practices to Fill Your Cup
Four Tuesday nights March 24
7:15-8:45pm: Virtually via Zoom (login info and instructions below)
March 17, 24, 31, and April 7  
https://brandeis.zoom.us/j/5628480180  
(See more detailed Zoom instructions below)  

Instructions for Joining our Virtual Zoom Gatherings:
Mobile Device (iPhone, iPad, Android phone, Android tablet)
First, visit your app store to download the Zoom app. Its logo is a blue background with a white camera image on it. Just before the start time click here to automatically open the meeting in your app: https://brandeis.zoom.us/j/5628480180
 
Computer (Windows or Mac, Desktop or Laptop)
Click this link: https://brandeis.zoom.us/j/5628480180  before the meeting. A few of these tutorial videos may help: Joining a Meeting, Testing your Audio, Managing Controls in the Meeting
 
Telephone (audio only)
Mobile phone: click 1 312 626 6799, 5628480180#
Land line: Dial 1- 312 626 6799. When prompted for the Meeting ID, enter 5628480180 followed by the pound key (#).
 
 

Virtual Mindfulness and Storytime for Children and Families
Wednesdays March 25 and April 1
11am to 11:20am
Virtually via Zoom (login info and instructions below)
https://brandeis.zoom.us/j/5628480180
For children, families, and those who love them, join for 20 minutes of virtual age-appropriate mindfulness and storytelling.  Mindfulness led by Rev. Matt Carriker, who is trained in the Mindful Schools curriculum.  Storytelling led by Lynn Carriker, a former elementary school teacher, who has written several children's books for kids, including "Hope" and "Where Did You Go, Uncle Marty?"  These sessions are open and inclusive to all, no matter your spiritual or religious background.

Let's Meditate Together!
Two Thursday nights: March 26th and April 2nd
7:15-7:45pm: Virtually via Zoom (login info and instructions below)
https://brandeis.zoom.us/j/5628480180  
Join us to fill your cup with various meditation, mindfulness, and contemplative practices.  All are welcome.  Led by Rev. Matt Carriker and Agape leaders.  Rev. Matt has been practicing meditation and mindfulness for almost 20 years, and has practiced meditation in the tradition of Paramhansa Yogananda since 2006.

  
Initiating Inspiration Book Group 
Monday May 18, 7:15-8:45pm
Waltham Public Library 
735 Main St
Waltham, MA 02453
 This is a Bi-Montly Book Group in partnership with the Waltham Public Library. The current book is "The Bold World: A Memoir of Family and Transformation” by Jodie Patterson. All are welcome whether you have read the book or not. 
 
Initiating Inspiration Book Group 
Monday September 28, 7:15-8:45pm
Waltham Public Library 
735 Main St
Waltham, MA 02453
 This is a Bi-Montly Book Group in partnership with the Waltham Public Library. The current book is "10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress without Losing My Edge and Found Self-Help That Actually Works— A True Story" by Dan Harris. All are welcome whether you have read the book or not. 
 
Initiating Inspiration Book Group 
Monday November 23, 7:15-8:45pm
Waltham Public Library 
735 Main St
Waltham, MA 02453
 This is a Bi-Montly Book Group in partnership with the Waltham Public Library. The current book is "Chasing My Cure: A Doctor’s Race to Turn Hope into Action: A Memoir” by David Fajgenbaum. All are welcome whether you have read the book or not. 
 
The Art and Science of Meditation,as taught by Paramhansa Yogananda: POSTPONED
Four Tuesday nights starting March 17th
7:15-8:45pm
March 17, 24, 31, and April 7: Alternative Virtual Gathering Instead (see below)
This 4-part small groups series will dive deeper into meditation, using the techniques Minister Matt practices in the tradition of Paramhansa Yogananda, author of the best-selling "Autobiography of a Yogi."  In this meditation series, Matt will share both the art and science of meditation as he has learned and practiced it over the years. In place of this series, which we will reschedule, we will now meet virtually.  Here are details:
 
Initiating Inspiration Book Group: POSTPONED until 2021
Monday March 23, 7:15-8:45pm
Waltham Public Library
735 Main St
Waltham, MA 02453
This is a Bi-Montly Book Group in partnership with the Waltham Public Library. The current book is "One Day My Soul Just Opened Up: 40 Days and 40 Nights Towards Spiritual Strength and Personal Growth" by Iyanta Vanzant. All are welcome whether you have read the book or not.  Because the Waltham Public Library is closed until further notice, we have cancelled this book group meeting.
 
 
Zen Zone
Date TBD
Waltham Public Library
735 Main St Waltham, MA, 02451
  
Mindfulness fills a great need for adults and youth to find physical, mental, and emotional calm in these busy, often overwhelming times.  Mindfulness promotes non-judgmental awareness of the present moment, and fosters calm, better concentration, and more openness.  Youth and adults learn how to be kinder to themselves and others, more confident, and less judgmental.  This monthly Zen Zone, a partnership between the Waltham Public Library and Agape Spiritual Community, will engage in and practice a variety of mindful and contemplative practices.  Zen Zone will be facilitated by Rev. Matt Carriker (Protestant Chaplain at Brandeis University and Pastor at Agape Spiritual Community in Waltham) and other guests.
 
 Contact Matt if you would like to participate, or would like more information. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Vital small groups keep people connected in the Agape community.  Each small groups in the Agape community has various spiritual practices to "fill your cup" and empower you to be a blessing in the world.  Some examples of practices we do include:

- Clearness Committees  “Sacred, intentional way of helping someone discern God’s will in their life and in particular situations through silence, and deep sharing and listening.”
- Heart Circles    “Small groups where people sit in circle to explore what they truly want to create in their lives and world.  Topics could include partnerships/marriage, family, friends, community, work, money, leisure, health, learning/creativity, life details, etc.”
- Lectio Divina    “Slow, sacred means of reading scripture in a devotional way, seeking to integrate the insights of prayer, silence, and scripture into life.  Imagine the image of a cow chewing grass, rather than reading academically or intellectually.”
- Bible study    “Studying biblical books, stories, etc. for greater clarity of understanding, and seeking to integrate the Bible’s wisdom into our own lives.”
- Book study    “Reading a book of choice and reflecting on its spiritual or moral implications for our lives.”
- Forgiveness    “Doing forgiveness prayers together, including Howard Wills’ prayers.”
- Yoga & Chanting    “Getting into our bodies through incarnational yoga practice, and deep, devotional, heart-centered chanting, to open one’s heart to God.”
- Meditation (various forms) including Centering Prayer, Mindfulness, and Practicing the presence of God:     “Opening one’s heart to God in silent prayer.  Meditation could include various forms, including visualizations or centering prayer (which uses a sacred word to concentrate).  Mindfulness is a centering awareness practice- of ourselves, our body, breath, actions, emotions, surroundings, and God.  Could include mindful breathing/sitting, mindful walking, mindful eating, etc.”
- Cycling    “Biking out in nature as a spiritual practice.”
- Hiking    “Walking out in nature as a spiritual practice.”
- Storytelling     "Everyday we tell a story to people. This small group provides the opportunity to reflect on the story that we (and others) are telling in life as well as what this means to us."
- Service    “Various local or global service projects to make a difference in the world.”
- Peace and Justice work    “Includes various forms of working for peace in the home, community, or world, or for various social justice issues.”
 

Why small groups at Agape?

People long for connection in community.  Not superficial connection, but deep and meaningful connection.  While people are inspired by worship services, deep community happens in small groups that are affirming, life-giving, and uplifting.

Vital small groups are the lifeblood that keep people connected in the Agape community.  These small groups have several components that facilitate deep meaning and connection:

  1. Spirituality- whether it be prayer, meditation, or another form of spiritual practice, each small group integrates spirituality to varying degrees, depending on their focus.
  2. Meaningful personal sharing, and support and prayer for each small group member throughout life’s ups and downs.
  3. Service- depending on their focus, service may be the primary activity of some groups, while others may engage in service for targeted periodic projects.  Each group together discerns how they are called to be of service in the wider community and world. 
  4. Regular meeting time- whether it be monthly, biweekly, or weekly for a period of time, the regularity of each group’s meetings is determined by its members.

Interested in starting or participating in an Agape small group? 

  Contact Matt