Classes and Events


Much Matters: Book Discussion Group

(To learn more about Much Matters click on the title above)

Third Thursday of each month
6 – 8 PM
Library, South Campus

Contact Shah Hasan for details:

If you cannot join us in person, an online discussion is also available on Facebook. Search for “Much Matters Book Group” and ask to join.

Registration HERE

Books are available for sale in the bookstore.

Film Discussion Group: Discussing films with themes of merit







Second Friday of each month
6:00 Pizza
6:30 Film Begins
Wicker Room, South Campus

More information available here.

Please RSVP by the day before the event to Bob Jacques
or (614) 486-0953 if you plan to attend.

$5 suggested donation for pizza
All are welcome to bring a different food item of your choosing.

Coffee Talks with David Hett

Thursday, August 22
7-9 pm
The Home of David Hett
RSVP by email to to receive the address.

Wednesday, September 23
Grandview Library
7 – 8:30 pm
Meeting Room A

Wednesday, October 25
Grandview Library
7 – 8:30 pm
Meeting Room B

Based on Socrates Café –
Conversations about things that matter.
Being a topic, vote on a choice, discuss.

In partnership with:

Introduction to the Enneagram

Saturday, August 24, 2019 from 9:30 am – 12:00

An opportunity for those new or slightly familiar with the Enneagram
of Personality Types to learn more about each Type in particular
and how the system works in general.
As always our purpose is to assist others in being more self-aware,
while being kind to themselves in the process.

Register: by sending an email to

Location: Annex Building, First Community Church,
1944 W. First Avenue Columbus, OH 43212

Fee: $25.00 at the door by cash, check, or Venmo
(scholarships available, send us an email request)

Instructors: Lisa Bueche and Connie Frecker

A Geography of Grace
Taught by certified instructors from the Center for Courage and Renewal

Thursdays, 12 weeks
September 5 – December 5
(skipping Halloween and Thanksgiving)
6:30 – 8:30 PM (sometimes 9)
Spiritual Guidance Room
Annex Building, South Campus
Registration Deadline: Augst 28

Registrar: HERE

Course Description:
This twelve-week program will introduce participants to the Circle of Trust® approach developed by Dr. Parker J. Palmer and described in his book A Hidden Wholeness.  A Circle of Trust® provides a safe, confidential and sacred space for participants to support one another in accessing the voice of their souls and the depths of their inner lives.
Exploring nature-based themes, you will experience:
 ● a place to engage in a powerful inquiry about the nature of your life in a safe and caring context;
● deep engagement with the inner self through intentional listening and speaking;
● and a way to receive clarity about yourself-your true self-and how it might thrive in the places you frequent, such as work, home, community and civic spaces.


Allison Dehart

Allison DeHart is a certified Circle of Trust® facilitator
with the Center for Courage and Renewal. She has
been participating in and leading Circles of Trust®
since 2008. She recently returned to Ohio after earning
an MA in Contemplative Religion from Naropa University
in Boulder, Colorado.

Sara Ward


Sara Ward is a certified Spiritual Director and Master
Facilitator. She is certified as a facilitator of the
Geography of Grace® curriculum with the Center for
Courage and Renewal and a student of Compassionate
Communication and the Enneagram.

My Israeli Story: An Evening with Merav Livneh Dill

Wednesday, September 4
7 – 8:30 pm
Brownlee Hall, South Campus

We are delighted to host Merav Livneh Dill, the Senior Emissary from Israel in Columbus, as she presents “My Israeli Story,” from her point of view as someone who was born and raised in Israel.

Through personal story and pictures, Merav will help us learn what it’s like to grow up in the state of Israel, the diversity in this nation of immigrants, Jewish pluralism, and Jewish music and education. She will also help us understand social phenomena, Israeli politics and current challenges for Israelis and for Israel, and be open to any questions regarding her life and the current situation in Israel.

I was introduced to Merav’s work, along with Adult Learning Council chair, Lisa Norris, when we met with the Rabbi and Adult Education leaders at Beth Tikvah Synagogue. Merav and her husband are leading a discussion at Beth Tikvah on the very important upcoming election in Israel. Merav has a fascinating story to tell about growing up in Israel, and this will be an excellent learning opportunity for us all.

Merav has a B.A. and M.A. in Jewish Studies and Gender Studies from The Hebrew University. In Israel she was the head of the Jewish pluralism department at Shatil, the Initiative for Social Change; and the head of Hillel Israel`s Cultural Programs department. Merav was an activist promoting diversity in Israel through Café Gibraltar, the Ministry of Culture Committee and more.  She served in the Israeli army as an Educational Officer and was discharged with the rank of First Lieutenant. For the last 3 years, Merav has lived in Bexley, OH with her husband Timor and their children: Michael (11), Ruth (9) and Noam (5).

Donations will support the work of The Burkhart Center and JewishColumbus.

Mental Health, Stigma, and Families: The Final Frontier for Human Rights
Dr. Stephen Hinshaw, Ph.D.

September 19

7 – 9 PM
Brownlee Hall
Followed by book signing
Books will be for sale at the event.

Register Here

Public knowledge of mental illness has grown rapidly in recent decades, but public attitudes have lagged far behind. Indeed, stigma and shame still predominate. In this talk and discussion, Hinshaw notes the current mental health crisis, defines stigma, and discusses its hugely harmful consequences. At the same time, he conveys a deeply personal and family narrative of his philosopher father’s lifelong struggles with misdiagnosed and maltreated bipolar disorder.  Overcoming the doctor-ordered silence about the entire topic has been one of Hinshaw’s key goals.  The talk ends on a note of hope around humanization and empowerment.

Stephen Hinshaw is Professor of Psychology at UC Berkeley and of Psychiatry at UC San Francisco.  He grew up in Upper Arlington before attending college at Harvard and graduate school in clinical psychology at UCLA. He is an award-winning teacher and researcher; his work focuses on child and adolescent mental health and on stigma reduction.  His latest book, Another Kind of Madness: A Journey through the Stigma and Hope of Mental Illness (St. Martin’s), chronicles his family’s deep experiences with stigma.

Progressing Spirit:
Explorations in Theology,
Spirituality, and the News

Returns September 14
Second Saturdays, monthly
9:30 am – Noon
Wicker Room, South Campus

Facilitated by: Rev. David Hett

Lively discussions about spirituality, progressive Christianity, church and life itself, based on articles from the Progressing Spirit lineup of new religious thought-leaders. A few of the titles from this summer’s weekly series: “Looking, Leaning and Leading Forward” by Brian McLaren. “The Future Church” by Gretta Vosper. “Being True to Christ but Rejecting Christianity” by Ebony Janice Moore. “All the World a Thin Place” by Brandan Robertson. “The Concepts of Virgin Birth and Physical Resurrection” by Rev. Irene Moore. “White Fragility is Real, My Friends” by Rev. Deshna Ubeda. Classes often feature video talks by Bishop John Shelby Spong and others.

To receive the weekly articles we review each month, participants are urged to secure their own subscription at for a small fee. 

To learn more, follow this link and register.

Avery Solomon
Avery Solomon returns
October 17, 2019
7 PM
Brownlee Hall, South Campus
Register by email to Linda Baldeck:

Inspiration: Grace and Self-Responsibility

Remember to remember.

Avery Solomon, an American spiritual and scientific philosopher, will discuss the paradox of Grace and self-effort. Ancient and contemporary wisdom guide us for inviting and embracing the Divine presence. Questions and conversation will be welcome to help clarify how these ideas are usable in our lives.

Avery Solomon is a teacher and researcher at Wisdom’s Goldenrod Center for Philosophic Studies in Hector, NY. He gives seminars and classes around the world on spiritual philosophy, ancient wisdom and modern cosmology, science and don-duality. Dr. Solomon has been involved since 2001 in the dialogue of science and Buddhism started by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He brings a wide background of experience from many spiritual traditions and teachers and a sense of humor to serious matters.

A $10 recommended donation will be gratefully accepted and will benefit The Burkhart Center and The Philosopher’s Center of Columbus.



Additional Weekly Classes

Classes are free except where noted and open to the public. For a current schedule, click here.


Religious Life and Learning Mission and Purpose

Adult Learning and Spiritual Searcher event table on Sundays

Lifelong personal transformation in the community of faith is the goal of Religious Life and Learning at First Community Church. The Adult Learning Council provides multifaceted groups, learning experiences, and resources for the individual spiritual journey. The unique Spiritual Searcher program hosts innovative religious and spiritual thinkers to expand our personal and collective horizons. The Burkhart Center shepherds all educational programming.


Adult Learning Class Proposal Form

If you are interested in being a class facilitator or if you have a topic you’d like to see addressed,
please contact our office or fill out the Adult Learning Council Program Proposal.

and email it to



(614) 488-0681 or