Upcoming Learning Opportunities

Make Friends, Connect at Church, Grow in your Faith…
Free childcare is almost always provided for groups that meet at church (see bottom of page for details).
Staff contact: Beth Palmer, Director of Adult Discipleship (bpalmer@hilliardumc.org, 614.876.2403 [church office]).

Comfort Conversations

A new weekly gathering for conversation and sharing about grief and loss, and for working through grief and loss in community. No curriculum or book to read, just open, honest, confidential conversation.

  • 4 Mondays starting March 19, 7-8:30pm.
  • Sanctuary building, room 206 (parlor).
  • Facilitator: Barb Erskine, a Care Partner at Hilliard UMC and a long-time volunteer at Kobacker House (OhioHealth inpatient hospice care center).
  • SIGN UP ONLINE HERE, or on the sign-in card in your Sunday worship folder, or contact Beth Palmer directly (bpalmer@hilliardumc.org, 614.876.2403).

Understanding Good Friday (for adults and youth)

What does Jesus’s crucifixion mean for us today?
How does God save us through the cross?
How does it lead us to freedom and new life?

Come for a light lunch (12:30-1pm) and an opportunity to deepen your understanding of Good Friday through teaching from the pastors and staff, video teaching from Lutheran pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, and group discussion.

If you’ve ever felt like Holy Week was all about making you feel badly about your guilt or shame, your sin, come learn with us how it’s about rebirth, resting in new life, and relaxing into freedom…  If you’ve ever felt like Holy Week was just for the super religious, churchy types, come experience something new with us…

  • 1 Sunday, March 25, 1-2:30pm. Light lunch 12:30-1pm.
  • Sanctuary building, social hall.
  • Facilitators: Pastor April Blaine, Pastor Karen Muntzing, Beth Palmer (Director of Adult Discipleship).
  • Childcare provided. No cost for class.



Lent: Church-wide focus on prayer

In prayer, God invites us to come home

…home to where we belong… home to serenity and peace and joy… home to connection and acceptance and affirmation. In prayer we are invited to rest in God’s heart.

And in prayer it doesn’t matter if we have a lot of faith or not much at all, or whether we’re feeling far away from God or close, or whether we have eloquent words or fumble along… And it’s more than a laundry list of needs and desires.

It’s more like calling your BFF (for us old folks, that’s your Best Friend Forever!) and never hanging up, or spending the day together, maintaining an ongoing conversation, the kind where you don’t have to talk all the time and are just comfortable in each other’s presence.

It’s about listening… and showing up whether we’re feeling it or not… and taking the hurt we see in others and know in ourselves and giving it to God…

All that matters in prayer is that we bring our heart.*

For the season of Lent this year (the 40 days leading up to Easter), our church-wide focus will be on prayer. We all want to experience a deeper connection with God, but most of us don’t really know how. Join us as we explore various ways to pray…

*Language borrowed from Nathan Foster in his excellent book, The Making of an Ordinary Saint: My Journey from Frustration to Joy with the Spiritual Disciplines (Baker Books, 2014), pages 139-151.


Intro to Prayer Practices

For those newer to prayer, come learn about how to start a daily prayer practice, setting aside regular time each day to intentionally connect with God. Talk about your understanding of prayer and experience various forms of prayer.

  • 4 Mondays starting February 19, 7-8:15pm.
  • Sanctuary building, room 206 (parlor).
  • Facilitator: Pastor Karen Muntzing.
  • Childcare provided. No cost for class.

Color While You Pray

Let’s try something new: coloring and journaling as a way to study the Bible and pray. Engage both sides of your brain as you read the biblical stories of Lent and color your way through illustrations of God’s resurrection story, from the Old Testament prophecies of Emmanuel to Jesus’s victorious appearances after his crucifixion to the disciples.

  • 6 Wednesdays starting February 21, 6:30-7:30pm.
  • Warehouse 839, room 6.
  • Facilitator: Lynn Weatherby.
  • Book cost: $9.50 (for those able). Supplies provided (or bring your own); you don’t need to bring anything but yourself and an open heart.
  • Childcare provided in the Sanctuary building nursery.

Engaging the Bible

For most of us, reading the Bible is like reading a foreign language: hard to figure out what it means, even harder to decipher what God might be saying to us today. Come experience the ancient practice of lectio divina (“sacred reading”): reading scripture slowly and prayerfully. It is an experiential practice; it’s less about gaining intellectual knowledge about the Bible and more about encountering the living God through scripture.

  • 8 Sundays starting February 25 (skip Easter), 9:45-10:45am.
  • Warehouse 839, room 6. Drop-ins welcome.
  • Facilitator: Beth Palmer, using the biblical texts for that Sunday’s message.
  • Childcare provided. No cost for class.
  • Bring your Bible and a notebook or journal (we also have some).
  • Each week stands alone, and you’re welcome to join anytime, just show up. Or you can SIGN UP ONLINE HERE, or on the sign-in card in your Sunday worship folder, or contact Beth Palmer directly (bpalmer@hilliardumc.org, 614.876.2403).

Contemplative Prayer

The practice of prayer is ultimately designed to lead us into union with the living God. One of the gifts of the Christian contemplative tradition is the recognition that in order to connect fully with God, we must surrender, letting go of what we think and do, allowing ourselves to BE with God in the stillness. If you have a regular prayer practice and are longing to dive deeper into God’s presence in extended silence and stillness, this is the class for you. Pastor April will introduce you to some of the rich, foundational practices from the contemplative tradition, and each week we will practice together entering into this space.

  • 8 Sundays starting March 4 (skip Easter), 7:15-8:15pm.
  • Sanctuary building, chapel.
  • Facilitator: Pastor April Blaine.
  • Childcare provided. No cost for class.
  • SIGN UP ONLINE HERE, or on the sign-in card in your Sunday worship folder, or contact Beth Palmer directly (bpalmer@hilliardumc.org, 614.876.2403).

In progress (started January 2018)

Constructive Theology

Ready to dig deeper into this faith journey? Explore ways to better understand and articulate who God is and develop a strong theological foundation using study, discussion, guided prayer, artwork, videos, a final project, and even a retreat!

  • 8 select Wednesday evenings, 6:15-7:45pm, at church: Jan 24; Feb 7 (cancelled due to weather), 21, 28; Mar 14, 21 (added b/c of Feb snow cancellation); Apr 4, 18; May 2.
  • Overnight retreat, Fri-Sat Apr 20-21, 5pm-5pm, off site.
  • Facilitators: Pastor April Blaine & Beth Palmer.
  • Free childcare provided (except for retreat).
  • Retreat cost: roughly $25-$40; financial help available.


Ongoing Open Groups

Ongoing Adult Sunday school classes are on THIS page…

Mom’s Group

This ongoing group for moms of all ages is about meeting moms where they are in the midst of full mom-kid-family-chaos schedules. There will be a little learning each week and exploring the Bible, to help moms grow spiritually and apply its truths to everyday life as women of God.

  • Saturday mornings, ongoing, 10-11:30am.
  • Sanctuary building, room 206 (parlor).
  • Facilitators: Lindsay Robinson (lrobinson@hilliardumc.org) & Elysa Smeltzer (elysasmeltzer@yahoo.com).
  • No cost, no book, no homework.
  • Free childcare available.
  • SIGN UP ONLINE HERE, or just show up anytime, or contact Beth Palmer directly (bpalmer@hilliardumc.org, 614.876.2403).

Saturday Men’s Group

Come for food and fellowship, and sometimes a bike or kayak ride!

  • Saturday mornings, once a month.
  • Locations vary.
  • Facilitator: Rob Erskine.
  • SIGN UP ONLINE HERE,or contact Beth Palmer directly (bpalmer@hilliardumc.org, 614.876.2403).

Extra Stuff…

Childcare (free) for children up to age 11 is usually available for all classes as a gift to you from the church. Take your child(ren) to the Sanctuary building nursery on the main floor or the Warehouse 839 nursery, behind the stage, where they will be met with a smile by trained, paid staff who have completed all the requirements outlined in our Safe Sanctuaries Policy (including a background check).

We don’t want the cost of books to get in the way of you taking a class, so sign up whether you have book money or not. It’s on us, happily! If you’d like to contribute a few extra dollars toward a book for someone who doesn’t have book money this time, that’d be great, thank you! Class facilitators will collect book money at class. (There are one or two exceptions to this, such as Financial Peace University.)