Inward and Outward Together: Join Us On the Journey

At First Pres, adults in all stages of life and faith find avenues for deepening relationship with God, self, and others through exploring Scripture and spiritual practices in authentic community. Small and larger groups meet on Sundays and throughout the week.

Guided by our First Pres mission statement, the following pathways help us discover where God is at work in our lives and world, drawing us into the lifelong journey of following Jesus.

🧭 We Are: Navigating our journey together
📖 Called by God: Listening to the voice of God speaking through scripture and our lives
🌀 Transformed by Grace: Creating space for practices that open us to the transformation of the Spirit
💙 Strengthened in Community: Coming together to share authentically from our journeys of life and faith

We invite you to join us in journeying inward and outward together this year through our Adult programming. You can find brief descriptions of our upcoming offerings below. More information and registration for each opportunity is available below or by visiting our calendar.

SUNDAYS at 9 am

🧭 Cinnamon Rolls with our Seminarians (Sunday, April 16, 9-10:15 am, Geneva Hall, Room G202. Hosted by the Christian Formation department and First Pres Candidate Care Committee) Join us for sweet treats and sweet times! During this casual reception, get to know the amazing seminarians discerning God’s call to ordained ministry within our First Pres community before they lead us in worship. 

🧭 Common Ground (Sundays, April 23-May 21, 9-10:15 am, Geneva Hall, Room G207. Facilitators: Bob Goss, Daly Jordan Koch, Rev. Michelle Vecchio-Lyzenga, Mindy Creson. Register by April 23.) Let’s be honest. We have questions. Lots of them. Many of us find our way to church because we’ve exhausted our own answers. Ironically, church can feel like the last place we can ask these questions since everyone else seems to be in the know. Join us in creating Common Ground where those of us new or returning to church can ask, explore, wrestle with, and ponder those questions that brought us here to begin with. Each week we’ll share our wonderings and wanderings together, discovering, if not easy answers, fellow journeyers in this Common Ground. 

📖 The Gospel of Mark: Tragedy and Mystery  (April 23 to May 21, 9-10:15 am, Geneva Hall, G202. Facilitator: Kathy Timpte, Director for University and Young Adult Ministry. Rolling registration) Mark’s Gospel ends abruptly. Why did the author choose to finish the book this way, and how might this ending inform how we see the gospel unfold: from the portrayal of the disciples to Jesus’ journey to the cross to the very depiction of the Kingdom of God. Our explorations will uncover our own assumptions and encourage receptivity to new and possibly unnerving ways to understand the Gospel of Mark. 

💙 Eight Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love (Sundays, April 23-May 21, 9-10:15 am, Geneva Hall, Calvin Room, Facilitators: Jeanne James, MFT, and guests. Rolling registration) Committed relationships and lasting love are not by chance; they’re by choice. Join us for a series of fun and constructive conversations, suitable for couples at all stages of life, based on the book Eight Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by John and Julie Gottman, PhD.  

SUNDAYS, After Worship, Dates and Times Vary

💙 Connect(her) | God’s Story for God’s People (April 16 to May 21, 11:45 am–12:45 pm, Geneva Hall, G206; Facilitator: Delianne Koops and others) Women of all circumstances are invited to deepen our relationship with God and one another through sharing our own stories and prayer. Our guide is The Story, a condensed version of the Bible’s teachings, helping us explore the narrative of God’s great love affair with humanity and the unfolding plan for our redemption and purpose. 

💙 Open Door Community Group (April 16 to May 21, 11:45 am–12:45 pm, Geneva Hall, Room G205; Facilitator: Rick and Kathy Leong) The Open Door Community Group gathers for a time of connection, conversation, and prayer using the weekly Questions for Reflection based on the Sunday message. We welcome all to come and join our community at any time.

💙 Sunday Morning Study (Ongoing, 11:45 am–1 pm, Geneva Hall, G214) We explore one book of the Bible at a time, using questions that help us to more fully understand what God is saying to us and where God beckons us outward. We are currently studying the book of Ezekiel. For info, contact Susan Stewart at [email protected]

💙 Koinonia (Ongoing through May 21, 11:45 am–12:45 pm, Geneva Hall, G213) A group of adults at varying stages of life and faith, we gather for conversation and study, engaging deep questions of faith and looking beyond answers to a fuller understanding of how God’s wisdom shapes our lives. For info, contact Paul Davis at [email protected].


📖 Berkeley Palmer Lectureship (Co-sponsored with New College Berkeley; FREE Lunch & Conversation with Students and Faculty, April 21, 1 pm, GTU Library Board Room; Plenary Lecture, April 22, 7 pm, Sanctuary and via Livestream) Each year, the Berkeley Palmer Lectureship examines, through current biblical theology and scholarship, issues of concern to the church and academy. Dr. Jin Young Choi,  Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins and Professorial Chair in Biblical Studies at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, presents this year’s Berkeley Palmer Lecture, The Mystery of the Divine Economy. Q & A and reception to follow. For more information and to register, go to

📖 Coffee & Conversation with Pastor Tom | The Gospel of Matthew (Tuesdays & Thursdays, April 18 to May 25, 8:30–9 am, Virtual via Zoom) The Gospel of Matthew paints a unique portrait of Jesus. In five blocks of teaching–addressing ethics, outreach, God’s rule, the church, and the end times–Matthew distinctly demonstrates Jesus’ instruction on how his followers should live. Join us this spring as we explore Jesus’ teaching in the Gospel of Matthew and its bearing on life today as we try to follow Jesus. 

💙 Faith & Film Series (Co-sponsored by New College Berkeley, April 14, 7–10 pm, Geneva Hall, G202) Examine the potent medium of film in exploring themes such as love, faith, and our yearnings for the “sacred.” Each month, we’ll view a film and host a thoughtful conversation. For info and registration, visit:

📖 Women’s Bible Study (Fridays, April 16 to May 19, 9:15–11 am, Virtual via Zoom; Facilitator: Pat Phillips) All are welcome to join our diverse community dedicated to sharing our lives and studying God’s Word. This season, we will explore , “Paul, His Life and Teaching.”  Email Pat Phillips at [email protected] for information and Zoom links.  

💙 Men’s Connect Breakfast (Saturday, April 22, 8-9:30am, Westminster Hall, Mears Room) Men of all ages are invited to gather in an intentional space created for fellowship and supporting each other in life and faith. We will offer blessings to one another through reflection, great food, and facilitated dialogues. For information, email Michael Farnola, [email protected]

Upcoming Opportunities

See More

Spring/Summer Pathways Brochure


Michelle Vecchio-Lyzenga
Associate Pastor for Christian Formation
[email protected]