Have a Little Faith

Photographs by William Taufic

Summer is filled with family travel, long weekends and beach parties, all of which can cut into even the most earnest family’s religious service attendance. But once the new school year comes, moms who work both outside and inside the home know the void that can ensue. The kids are gone all day or sometimes all semester (at boarding school or college), and the relationships that began in mom groups can start to fade, leaving us searching for a new way to connect with like-minded friends.

Many Greenwich women are turning to groups that explore an understanding of spirituality. And as a result, religious study groups of all faiths are flourishing. Several are nondenominational and don’t require you to join the faith or even attend services. The only condition is an interest in friendship and fellowship. Check with your house of worship or area houses of faith for opportunities that pique your interest. Most have informative websites with specific details and contact information. The following suggestions give an idea of the opportunties our town has to offer.

The historic stained glass windows at the First Congregational Church

In addition to coed Bible study, FCC features women’s fellowship groups that host monthly nights out, speakers and community outreach. The Hat’s Off Book Discussion Group meets weekly from fall to spring. fccog.org

Bring your own lunch and join in a weekly FAB (Focused Around the Bible) discussion group and connect with other women. A Women’s Book Discussion Group and special speakers are scheduled throughout the year as well. fpcg.org

Temple Sholom offers an adult education series and other opportunities devoted to women. Check out the calendar for upcoming events as well as a weekly Shabbat Study and Lunch ’n Learn. templesholom.com

In a testament to the popularity of Bible study all over town, for twenty-six years Greenwich Bible Study (GBS) has hosted a spring luncheon attended by hundreds of residents representing their respective Bible study groups. This April’s sold-out event featured Reverend Neely Towe speaking to a room of over 350 attendees at Greenwich Country Club. The GBS website is a great resource for finding information on various area Bible study groups throughout Greenwich. GBS is non-denominational, for women only and offers a regular Bible study series, special speakers and retreats. The group meets at Christ Church. greenwichbiblestudy.org

The Presbyterian Church of Old Greenwich offers weekly study meetings with a course book and small group discussion. Fellowship meals are scheduled throughout the year to provide a further opportunity for sharing and relationship building. greenwich.cbsclass.org

Stanwich features several women’s groups. A Mother’s Heart is a morning get-together for mothers of young children (birth to third grade) focusing on encouragement through supportive friendships, shared experiences and ways to apply Bible teachings to our spiritual lives as individuals and mothers. Childcare in the church nursery is provided. stanwichchurch.org

Women’s day and evening groups meet at a number of area locations from New Canaan to Greenwich to Westchester and focus on specific teachings and sections of the Bible for discussion and prayer. trinitychurch.life

Ten years ago when Julie Riccardi attended the Greenwich Bible Study Annual Luncheon, she was looking for a way to bring Bible study to her parish. She was impressed with the number of Greenwich women in attendance who represented only a portion of those in active Bible study groups. Connecting with an Annapolis-based Catholic study group, Julie brought the program Walking With Purpose to Greenwich (WWP), and it has grown by leaps and bounds. More than 15,000 women at 175 parishes in the U.S. and Canada are part of WWP today. Julie currently serves as the organization’s CEO and board president. Locally WWP is in three Greenwich parishes:
St. Catherine of Siena, Saint Mary and St. Michael the ArchAngel. Classes meet weekly, biweekly or evenings depending on the parish. This is a scripture-based program that focuses on conversation and includes beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. Some chapters even offer babysitting. walkingwithpurpose.com



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