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Small Groups: Summer 2020

Click on the Small Group Name to read more.

Start
Time

MON

TUE

WED

THU

FRI

10 a.m. Harry Potter
(grades 4-8)
Noon Bending the Arc
4 p.m. Irish Reperatory
Theatre
5 p.m. No Reservations
7 -7:30 p.m.
Sermon
Text
Adventures
in Barth
Bending the Arc
Animated Films
8-8:30 p.m. Films from
Fiction Favorites
Micah’s Call
for Families

Tracking with the Sermon Text

Thomas Quinlan, Mondays, July 6-August 10, 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Register Here

Join us for a discussion of last Sunday’s sermon and text using discussion questions specially crafted for this group by our weekly preacher. This is a wonderful opportunity to sit with, reflect up and share with others the way the Word preached relates to the Word written.

For more than 30 years, Tom Quinlan has found Christian community in small groups. In the late 1980s, he led the first small group in his Roman Catholic Parish (Pasadena, CA). With a diverse educational background, his PhD is in cognitive psychology. For the past 5 years, he has basked in Nassau’s Christian community, which has included singing in the choir and participating in various small groups (of course).

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Adventures in Barth

This group is FULL

Mark Edwards, Tuesdays, July 7-August 4, 7:30-9:00pm

During these dog(matic) days of summer we’ll wander through some of the great terrain of Barth’s Church Dogmatics as we discuss grace, freedom, time, and trinity. First-timers to experts are welcome as we gather around Barth’s theological challenge to the church & world. Reading is ~40 pages a week.


Mark Edwards joined Nassau as Director of Youth Ministries in September of 2013. He is a lifelong Presbyterian and holds a PhD (Philosophy and Theology, 2013) from Princeton Theological Seminary. He has been a Lecturer at Princeton University, and  an adjunct professor at The College of New Jersey and Princeton Theological Seminary. Mark is married to Janine and they have two children.

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Harry Potter and the Summer of Quarantine

This group is FULL

Corrie Berg and Emily Rounds, Thursdays, July 9 – August 13, 10:00-11:00 a.m.

Rising 4th- 8th graders

Come read (or re-read) these classic stories from a new perspective. This group will gather for weekly sessions focused on tracing Christian themes through this compelling series. You might be surprised to discover how author J.K. Rowling draws upon and incorporates a lot of theology in her stories. A familiarity with the books (or movies), characters and plot is helpful as some spoilers may be shared in discussion.


Corrie Berg is the Director of Educational Ministries at Nassau Church. She loves to tell, read and talk about stories.

Emily Rounds grew up at Nassau Church and is a rising senior at Davidson College. She is back for a summer of (not quite what we had planned) youth ministry, helping out with VVBS, Sunday events, and (of course!) leading some Zoom calls.

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ABCs and Micah’s Call for Families

Brandy Alexander, Thursdays, July 2, 16, 30, August 6, 8:30-9:30pm

Register Here

“A is for Activist. Advocate. Abolitionist. Ally” (Innosanto Nagara, 2013). From inclusive board books to protests, what does it look like to do justice, encourage kindness, and walk humbly with God and our neighbors as families in 2020? Join other parents and caregivers of children for biweekly reflections, mutual encouragement, and prayer.

Brandy Alexander is a member of the Adult Education Committee and has been participating in the life of Nassau and its faith partners since 2012. As a lifelong traveler, the spouse of an immigrant, the parent of two young bicultural children, and a social worker, she is committed to living into the complexity of building a more just and equitable world.

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Nassau Film & Theater Festival

Animated Films Through a New Lens

Karl Bjorkman, Mondays July 6-August 10, 7:00-8:00pm

Register Here

Come explore the thematic and formal versatility (2D/3D, traditional vs. computer, stop motion, rotoscoping, etc.) of animated films. Perhaps when we think of animation, family-friendly favorites like The Lion King or Frozen might be the first titles that come to mind. But the visual playfulness and inventiveness of animation lends itself to storytelling that goes beyond the limitations of conventional live action filmmaking. But above all, the goal of this group is to watch some great movies, get together (so to speak), and have some fun conversations. Movies: The Iron Giant, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Tower, My Neighbor Totoro, It’s Such a Beautiful Day, Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse.

Karl Bjorkman joined Nassau last year and is an M.Div. student at Princeton Theological Seminary and a recent graduate of St. Olaf College, where he studied both religion and film. He lives at the CRW Apartments with his wife, Eszter, who is also an M.Div. candidate at PTS.

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Films Adapted from Fiction Favorites

Liz Beasley and Cynthia Miller, Wednesdays, July 8 – August 12, 8:00-9:00 p.m.


Join us for a six-week series on film adaptations of our favorite fiction. We’ll prepare for each session by watching one or two films, then meet via Zoom to discuss the adaptations and how they compare to the original novel. (Note: Reading the original fiction will be helpful, but not required.) Featured works will include The Joy Luck Club, The Scarlet Pimpernel, To Kill a Mockingbird, Persuasion, Mystic River, and The Last of the Mohicans.


Cynthia Miller enjoys reading as well as writing. She has self-published an historical fiction novel, a biography of Thomas Jefferson, several articles, and is currently working on another novel. She loves movies and plays and cannot wait to co-moderate this exciting group. Moving from the Chicago area in 1997, Cynthia joined Nassau Presbyterian Church soon afterward.

Liz Beasley founded the Rutgers-New Brunswick Writers’ Conference in 2017 and served as director for the first three annual conferences before her retirement in 2019. She loves reading literary and historical fiction, horror, thrillers, memoirs, biographies, and plays, and is looking forward to co-facilitating this small group on big screen adaptations of some of her favorite novels. She joined Nassau Presbyterian Church in 2007 and was ordained as a deacon in November 2019.

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Let’s Go To The Show!

Marcia Wood, Fridays, July 3-31, 4:00-5:00 p.m.
(performance dates: week of July 20)

Register Here

The stage is dark, but we will get to see a live performance of Conor MacPherson’s “The Weir” put on by the Irish Repertory Theatre and discuss it together. We will start with a Meet and Greet on July 3, with introductions and catch up. July 10 and 17, those who would like to read the play aloud together will meet. During the week of July 20, you can choose from several evenings or a matinee to watch the production. We will share our reactions on July 31. Feel free to drop in or drop out as we go along.

There is a cost of approximately $10 to download “The Weir” on your Kindle or Nook or purchase a paperback.


There is no charge for the virtual performance, but the theater is requesting a $25 donation.


Marcia Wood and her husband Warren have been members of Nassau for 45 years, where they raised their two children, Lauren and Joshua. The Irish Rep in NYC is a favorite off-Broadway theatre of theirs.

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No Reservations

Anne Thomsen Lord and Errol Lord, Fridays July 10 – August 4, 5:00-6:00 p.m.

Register Here

Join Anne and Errol this summer to talk food and travel–Anthony Bourdain style.  We’ll watch episodes of Bourdain’s food and travelogue, No Reservations on our own time and discuss our observations together on Fridays.

Errol Lord is an associate professor of philosophy at UPenn. Last fall he wrote about Anthony Bourdain as an enthusiast and strives to be one himself.

Anne Thomsen Lord is not an enthusiast but excites easily at many subjects–especially matters of the heart. Normally she lifeguards the early shift at the Princeton YMCA. Anne and Errol have four children, ages 7-12.

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Nassau/Witherspoon Partnership

Bending the Moral Arc: Contemporary Conversations on Race & Justice with Friends from Witherspoon Street & Nassau

Join us for courageous conversations co-led by members of the Witherspoon-Nassau Partnership Team. To ground our conversations, there will be homework before each gathering to read, listen to, or watch. Most of the homework will take about an hour. The conversation on July 23 will draw from the full-length documentary 13th (available on Netflix and YouTube).

Denyse Leslie & Len Scales, Thursdays, July 9 – 30, Noon–1PM

This group has 4 spaces for Witherspoon members

Barbara Flythe & Pam Wakefield, Thursdays, July 9 – 30, 7–8:30PM

This group is FULL


Group Numbers:
Cap of 8 participants, 4 from each congregation for each small group.

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Posted in Adult Education, Small Groups