A variety of special interest groups meet regularly at First Mennonite Church to fellowship with one another, support one another, and share our common interests. On occasion, we develop new groups and networks to address the needs and interests of our congregation, such as Tai Chi classes and small group hymn sings. Below is a list of just some of the groups in which our church members are involved. If you would like to join an existing group or are interested in forming a new one, please contact the church office.
Baby/Toddler Playgroup – Parents, grandparents and children of all ages are welcome to play and gab at this monthly gathering! No topic is off limits as we informally share the joys and challenges of nurturing our little ones. When the weather is good, we might meet at Brookland Park (located at 550 Greenwood Ave, across the street from the lower church lawn). When it's nicer to be inside, we often meet in the church fellowship hall. Participants come and go between 10 and 12 Noon, as their schedules (or naptimes!) allow. We typically meet on the second or third Thursday of each month. Please bring a snack for your child; drinks are provided for the adults.
Young Adults - If you consider yourself young...if you like to engage in conversations about things that matter...if you like to laugh...if you love to share good food with friends-- you'll find yourself at home among young adults at FMC. Come share good food and fellowship at a local restaurant over lunch once a month (FMC's treat!), or consider what grounds you through the stresses of life with our Young Adult class during the Christian Education hour on Sunday mornings. Picnic with us at our annual backyard shindig. Join in one of the spontaneous game nights that's sure to unfold during the year. Questions, struggles, joys and dreams are welcome in this ever-changing group of faith-seeking folk!
Small Groups – Small groups at FMC are an important part of our care for one another and our relationship with God. Most of our small groups are intergenerational and meet for fellowship, Bible or book study, sharing and prayer. We also have age-specific groups and groups formed around a particular common interest. These groups meet weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, as established by each group’s members. All who call FMC home are invited to join a small group.
Peace Knitters - Peace Knitters is a charity knitting group that trusts that the work of our hands and hearts can make a positive difference. We are knitters and crocheters from FMC and the community who have been gathering since 2005. Locally, we have knit items for Iowa City Animal Shelter, Horn elementary students, and The University of Iowa Preemie project. We have also participated in global projects, including bears for children with AIDS in Africa, the Guidepost children’s sweaters program, and the San Francisco based “Afghans for Afghans” project led by Ann Rubin. Recently, we sent 35 hats and some socks and mittens to a Jordanian Displaced Persons Camp. This was made possible through church member Jerry Partridge's daughter Vanessa. We meet on Thursdays from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. during the school year. We happily welcome anyone wishing to “make peace one stitch at a time.”
GriefShare - We offer GriefShare, a 13-week discussion/support group for persons who have lost a loved one once each year beginning in the spring. Each 90-minute session begins with a video, followed by group discussion. Each participant receives a workbook to use during the week. Topics covered include: living with grief; the journey of grief; the effects of grief; your family and grief; why?; the uniqueness of grief; when your family member or spouse dies; God’s prescription for grief; feelings of guilt and forgiveness; stuck in grief; top twenty lessons of grief; and heaven. If you would like more information about the GriefShare program please go to www.griefshare.org. If you are interested in attending, please contact the church office for information about dates and times for the next session.
Mennonite Women’s Sewing Group – Our Mennonite Women Quilting Group is a small group of experienced quilters. We get together on the first Tuesday of each month to quilt or knot comforters, have devotions, and eat lunch. Our group makes quilts to give as gifts to babies born into our church, for Pleasantview Home, and for the quilt auction at the Iowa MCC Relief Sale. For the 2014 MCC Sale, our group donated 2 knotted comforters, 1 knotted baby quilt, 2 wall hangings, 2 knitted afghans, and 3 quilts, which raised almost $3000 for MCC. We would love to share our craft with the younger generations, and welcome anyone to join our group!
Immigration Task Force – We are all strangers seeking to belong to God’s family. We at First Mennonite and Iglesia Menonita Torre Fuerte desire to work together to accomplish the Kingdom of God for all, especially those who immigrate to our community. Our group includes clergy and members of both congregations. Recent projects include a library card project to encourage Spanish-speaking families to obtain library cards and attend reading programs at the Iowa City Public Library, an “assertion of rights” paper to encourage just treatment of families by law enforcement, support for a city-issued I.D. for residents, and assistance for a refugee seeking asylum. We welcome new members to put immigration concerns into action.
We share our building with two organizations: Home Ties Child Care Center and Iglesia Menonita Torre Fuerte.
4Cs Home Ties helps families in crisis by providing quality, short-term child care in a safe, nurturing environment while their parents are away. For more information visit their website:
Iglesia Menonita Torre Fuerte, a Spanish language Mennonite Church meets at First Mennonite Church on Sundays at 5 PM and Thursdays at 6 PM. If you would like more information about Torre Fuerte, please contact the church office.
The University of Iowa chapter of InterVarsity Graduate Christian Fellowship regularly meets in our church building. You may find more information about InterVarsity on their website http://uiowa.orgsync.com/org/intervarsitygraduatechristianfellowship, on Facebook as University of Iowa IVGCF or contact Kevin at firstname.lastname@example.org.