Living in Faith Together (LIFT)

Our LIFT groups will meet this semester on: January 28, February 11, March 4 & 18, and April 15 & 29

5 – 6pm: Worship and a meal together

6 – 7pm: Groups meet

Sign up for LIFT groups HERE:

The topics for this semester are:

  1. Yoga: Seeking the Spirit through Opening our Minds and Bodies Through gentle yoga exercises, group conversations, music, and reflections on scripture, seek the Holy Spirit in a LIFT group that will open you both mentally and physically. Suitable for all ages, all genders, and the absolute novice or the regular yoga practitioner.  Group members should wear comfortable clothes which are easy to move in and bring a yoga mat or beach towel to work on.  As with any exercise program, please check with your physician if you have any concerns. Led by: Marla Ehlers
  2. The Remaking of Churches in China Surviving the State, Remaking the Church: A Sociological Portrait of Christians in Mainland China is a brand new book based on extensive interviews with Christians in China. The two authors, Li Ma (Henry Institute at Calvin) and Jin Li (PhD student at Calvin Seminary), will help lead discussions of these interviews and their analysis along with responses by Eastern Ave. members with experience in China. Mark Noll (Notre Dame) said this “unusually valuable book” offers “extraordinary insight concerning perhaps the most important scene of Christian development in the world today.” Be prepared for a rich conversation!  MATERIALS: Surviving the State, Remaking the Church: A Sociological Portrait of Christians in Mainland China. Get via [email protected] website ($21), Amazon ($27), or purchase from the authors at the first class for a discount price ($15). Led by: Emily Brink.
  3. The Religious Trail of the Semester at Sea The Semester at Sea is a floating mini-university that takes students around the world for the purposes of experiential education. Come along, visit, and reflect together on the sites of religious interest and significance that we visited on the Fall 2017 voyage: from the Montserrat monastery outside Barcelona to the million storefront churches in Ghana to Desmond Tutu’s cathedral, the oldest church in India, the opulence of the Schwedagon pagoda in Myanmar, the varieties of Buddhism and Shinto in Japan…. Led by: Jim Bratt
  4. Finding Peace and Wisdom in the Midst of Hatred and Division How do we ground ourselves as Christians during this time of polarization and division? How do we engage in uplifting conversations with communicating our differences of opinions?  How do we discern and deal with our feelings of anger and hatred towards others during this time of cultural division?  There are no easy answers but this will be a time to put these questions on the table; to wrestle with them opening ourselves to discernment through the Holy Spirit. Led by: Robert Nienhuis
  5. Gifts in Paradise Manna to eat, a scepter, a white rock — these and other gifts await those who overcome. Let’s apply information and imagination to find inspiration in the churches of Revelation 2 and 3. Led by: Bob Rienstra
  6. Diversity among Jesus Followers Engage in conversation about diverse ways God is moving both in the Church and outside of the Church, at EACRC, down the street, and on the other side of the world. We will use Insider Jesus: Theological Reflections on New Christian Movements by Fuller professor William Dyrness to prompt thoughts, questions, and discussion. Jeffrey and Melissa Bos will also share from their experience in Bangladesh among mostly Muslims, but also Hindus, Buddhists, and various Christian groups. MATERIALS: Insider Jesus: Theological Reflections on New Christian Movements by William Dyrness. Led by: Jeff & Melissa Bos.
  7. A Spiritual Journey with Richard Rohr An invitation to further your spiritual journey using Richard Rohr’s book, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life, as our guide. As fellow journeyers, we will read and discuss ideas Rohr shares in his book. Our goal is that everyone who comes on this journey will find themselves a little further down the path toward spiritual growth and maturity. All participants will need a copy of Falling Upward, which can be obtained at church. MATERIALS: Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life by Richard Rohr. Led by: Sheryl Mulder and Rodger Rice.
  8. Waking Up White The book Waking up White (And Finding Myself in the Story of Race) by Debby Irving examines many ways we – who describe ourselves as not being racially prejudiced – may be insensitive to racial issues without realizing it.  Thomas Shapiro calls it a “One–woman Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”  MATERIALS: Waking up White (And Finding Myself in the Story of Race) by Debby Irving. Led by:  Judy Gabrielse.


Our Youth Groups include:  Shining Stars (ages 3-kindergarten), GEMS (girls grades 1st-5th), Cadets (boys grades 1st-5th), Middle School Eastern Lights (grades 6th-8th) and High School Eastern Lights. Nursery will also be provided for infants and toddlers.