West End United Methodist Church

Spiritual Formation for Adults - Fall 2020  
We live in strange and uncertain times. Perhaps now more than ever, we need opportunities to grow nearer to God, one another, and our neighbors. Although our small groups and ministries will continue meeting virtually for the coming months, this presents us with unique opportunities to pray, study, and grow together. We hope you will join us for these upcoming spiritual formation offerings in fall 2020. All offerings will be via Zoom video conferencing until further notice. For more information regarding any of the following spiritual formation opportunities, you may contact Brandon Baxter, bbaxter@westendumc.org


“Be Still and Know: Centering Prayer 101”with Sally Ahner 
Monday Evenings, Sept. 7, 14, 21, 28  //  7 PM 

Centering Prayer may be described as meditation with a uniquely Christian perspective: letting go of our own egoic desires and letting our lives be guided by the will of God.  This was the guiding principle of Jesus’ own life, and the only way we can begin to truly heal ourselves and the world. 

In each of the four sessions, she will give some history and guidelines and we will practice Centering Prayer at least twice in each session. You will be encouraged to have a daily practice as well, since exercising our “prayer muscle” is just as important as exercising any other muscle. 

Centering Prayer is based on the principle of non-judgment, so you cannot fail if you set your intention toward God. Practicing non-judgment (non-attachment to outcomes) in itself is a marvelous spiritual discipline. Sally hopes you will join her in this exploration.  It can change your life!  

To register, go to westendumc.org/centeringprayer

“Consciously Living Your Spiritual Life”
with Brian Payne 

Wednesday Evenings, September 9, 16, 23, 30  //  7 PM 

Long-time West End UMC member Brian Payne invites you to CONSCIOUSLY LIVING YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE, a four-week online series for consciously living your best spiritual life and practices - in general, and pertaining to ministries at West End UMC.  Over the past 15 years, Brian has developed and lived a comprehensive, conscious living process for which spiritual life is one of the components.  Each week the interactive series will focus on providing a framework for you to determine what is important to you to grow in faith and spirit as you take a journey of introspection, self-exploration, and ultimately consciously living your best spiritual life.    The four-week series will be offered at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday nights:  September 9, September 16, September 23 and September 30.  For more information contact Brian at brian@brianpaynelaw.com

To register, go to westendumc.org/spirituallife


According to the United Methodist Book of Discipline, the Holy Scriptures contain “all things necessary to salvation.” In other words, the Bible provides the foundational narratives and beliefs that unite us to the God we know in Jesus Christ and to one another. The road to discipleship necessarily includes reading and praying the Scriptures. We hope you will consider the following opportunities for comprehensive Bible study in 2020/21. Each of these studies will begin in mid-September and span 24 weeks in the fall and winter/spring. 

“Disciple 1 Fast Track” with Eric Gambill 
Tuesdays at 7:30 PM beginning on September 15 

Disciple 1 Fast Track is the latest version of the popular Disciple Bible Study series. West End member and experienced Bible teacher Eric Gambill will lead participants through this comprehensive Bible study. The course is designed to allow participants to read and study portions of each book of the Bible over the span of 24 weeks. The group will meet weekly for up to 75 minutes and complete manageable daily readings in preparation for each week’s class. Disciple I Fast Track is the entry level Bible study suitable for those who have never participated in a comprehensive Bible study before or who would like a refresher in the basics of the Bible narratives. 

Disciple 1 Fast Track will begin on Tuesday, September 15 at 7:30 PM, meeting through the fall, breaking over the holidays, and resuming in January 2021. Participants will spend 12 weeks in the Old Testament and 12 in the New Testament. Participants will need to purchase their own participant books prior to class (approx. $30) and have a Study Bible, preferably NRSV or CEB. Please try to register by September 1 to help with our planning. To register, go to westendumc.org/disciple1  

Disciple 2 Fast Track: Into the Word, Into the World”
with Revell Carroll and Bill Walker 

Tuesdays at 7:00 PM beginning on September 15 

Disciple 2 Fast Track is an in-depth exploration of the books of Genesis, Exodus, Luke, and Acts. West End Members Revell Carroll and Bill Walker will facilitate this study. This is an excellent Bible study option for persons who already taken Disciple 1 or have engaged in similar comprehensive Bible study in the past. It is also a good refresher course for those who may have taken various Disciple courses. 

Disciple 2 Fast Track will begin on Tuesday, September 15 at 7:00 PM, meeting through the fall, breaking over the holidays, and resuming in January 2021. Participant will spend 12 weeks of in-depth study of Genesis/Exodus and 12 more of Luke/Acts. Participants will need to purchase their own participant books prior to class (approx. $30) and have a study Bible, preferably NRSV or CEB. Please try to register by September 1 to help with our planning. To register, go to westendumc.org/disciple2.


“Raising White Kids by Jennifer Harvey”:
A Book Chat with Maggie Jarrell and Emily Robbins 

Mondays in October at 7 PM 

If you are a parent, grandparent, or guardian responsible for helping  raise a white child today, you may be curious about how to navigate issues of race with your young ones. Join Maggie Jarrell, Pastor of Children and Families, and Emily Robbins, Minister of Youth, as they co-facilitate a study of the book “Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children In a Racially Unjust America.” According to the WEUMC Anti-Racism Statement adopted by our Ministry Table, we are committed as a church to “work together in hope for the beautiful kin-dom of God to be realized among us.” Come together with other parents and caregivers as you seek to cultivate the awareness and skills necessary to raise anti-racist children who will seek justice and equity for all of God’s people.  To register, go to westendumc.org/raisingwhitekids

“Seculosity by David Zahl”: 
A Book Chat with Nick Deitmane 

Wednesdays in October at 7:30 PM 

Join West End member Nick Deitmane as he leads us in a short-term book study of David Zahl’s “Seculosity: How Career, Parenting, Technology, Food, Politics, and Romance Became Our New Religion and What to Do about It.” Nick will lead participants in an interactive discussion around this intriguing book that argues our culture has replaced traditional religion with a host of new “secular religions” that compete for our attention and allegiance. What does it mean to prioritize our relationship with God in such a world? Nick will guide you in discussion about this and other questions as you read together. To register, go to westendumc.org/Seculosity 

“At Play with God” with Guest Facilitator Keller Hawkins 
Mondays in November at 7:30 PM  

Have you played recently? Is play important? What exactly is play?  

Join in this interactive 4-week workshop for adults (yes, adults!) where we will explore the concept of play and all its rich intricacies and complexities. Over the course of the workshop, we will define play and discuss its benefits, delve into play personalities, reflect on the divine playfulness of God and theological play, and consider play as a tool to help wade through situations of chaos and conflict. All are welcome!  

This workshop will be held on Monday nights at 7:30pm, starting November 2nd (skipping the week of Thanksgiving). It will be led by Keller Hawkins, who is a graduate of Vanderbilt Divinity School, a pastor, chaplain, sexuality educator, and an evangelist of play! She loves to walk labyrinths, juggle, cook, and—when not in the midst of a global pandemic—travel. To register, go to westendumc.org/playwithgod.

“On This Spirit Walk by Henrietta Mann and Anita Phillips”:  
A Book Chat with Katie Minnis and Brandon Baxter 

Wednesdays in November and First Week of December at 7:00 PM 

One of our commitments as a church striving to be more anti-racist is to utilize resources that help us hear and learn from voices that have been historically marginalized in our culture. In “On This Spirit Walk: The Voices of Native American and Indigenous Peoples,” readers will learn from a variety of Indigenous and Native American writers who are also United Methodist. These writers reflect on indigenous spirituality and the gifts that these beliefs and practices bring to the global community of faith. Chapters focus on ideas such as identity, values, storytelling, creation, worship, justice, and more.  

This book chat will be held on Wednesday nights at 7:00pm, starting November 2nd (skipping the week of Thanksgiving). Rev. Brandon Baxter and Pastoral Fellow Katie Minnis will serve as co-facilitators for our time together. To register, go to westendumc.org/spiritwalk