Learning Opportunities

Which Path Will You Take?

Make Friends, Connect with God, Grow in your Faith…
Staff contact: Beth Palmer, Director of Adult Discipleship (bpalmer at hilliardumc.org).

Rest & Reset
Gentle Yoga Class

Thursday, December 14
Sanctuary building, Chapel

In this season that pushes us to be too busy, we invite you to take an hour to tend to your body with a gentle yoga class for all bodies. Certified yoga instructor Patti Saniel-Banrey will help you rest and reset, relax your body, and breathe.

Bring your own yoga mat, plus a towel and a blanket (if you like), and any other props you need.

Free class. If you’d like, bring canned goods or toilet paper to donate to the Hilliard Food Pantry, or make a donation to the ADULT DISCIPLESHIP fund to support this ministry. Patti is offering her leadership free of charge.

You can sign up ahead of time or just show up, whatever works better for you.

Centering Prayer Reboot

2nd Mondays
Sanctuary building
Room 305

Ginny Fisher will facilitate a monthly group for Centering Prayer practice November 2023 through May 2024. Expect an opening grounding/centering activity, an abbreviated Centering Prayer practice (10-15 minutes), and then some conversation around what you’ve been noticing and experiencing in your practice, what fruits have you seen, what has been going well or not, etc., for 30-40 minutes. She may provide a topic or experience based on previous conversations and questions.

If you’re interested in practicing Centering Prayer in community, whether you have little experience or are a long-time practitioner, this opportunity is for you. You’re welcome to come for just the first part or the entire hour.

Sign up below so we know how many to expect, or you’re also welcome to just show up as your schedule allows.

Antiracism Book Group

Discussion January 23
& February 1
7pm at church
Parlor (room 206)

Pick up your own copy and join in for discussion of Black Death at the Golden Gate: The Race to Save America from the Bubonic Plague by David K. Randall.

A PBS special called “Plague at the Golden Gate,” based on the book, was aired last year and can be found on the author’s website.

While our past selections have focused on racism toward African Americans, this book will look at racism toward a group of Asian Americans in 1900. This story begins with a Chinese American in San Francisco who died of the Bubonic Plague, resulting in racist pseudoscience and the quarantine of Chinatown.

This story from a century ago is relevant to modern times, as evidenced by racism toward Asian Americans when the COVID-19 pandemic began.

  • Facilitators: Amy Bashforth and Orpha Belardo
  • Discussion dates: Tuesday, January 23, and Thursday, February 1, 7pm (’til 8:30 at the latest, probably).
  • Location: Sanctuary building, parlor (room 206 – halfway down the long hallway from the Sanctuary, on the left).

Book: Black Death at the Golden Gate

Get your own copy – we like small businesses and organizations that keep the greater good in mind, rather than huge conglomerates, so we encourage you to shop Bookshop.org; their prices are very competitive. You can probably find a copy at the library, too.

lectio divina Bible reading praying scripture

“Lectio Divina”
Bible Reading

Praying the Scriptures

1st & 3rd Wednesdays
12-1pm in person
Church office, room 6
Facilitated by Judy Scott & Pastor Jon Osmundson

“Lectio Divina” (pronounced LEK-tee-oh dih-VEEN-ah) simply means “sacred reading” — it’s a way of reading the Bible slowly and prayerfully, in small sections, to listen for what God might have to say to you. In doing so, we affirm that we will encounter God directly through this text and that it will speak directly into our lives. We approach scripture as a mystic would, listening for God’s word to us.

No experience necessary! We’ll teach you how to do it and lead you through each week.

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deeper waters innovative courageous leaders

Deeper Waters

Innovative & Courageous Leaders

January – November 2024

It’s an extraordinary time to be a human. With everything we are facing collectively and individually, more than ever, the world needs innovative and courageous leaders who can meet this moment with a

  • Capacity to hold complexity and ambiguity
  • Compassionate, non-anxious presence
  • Commitment to pursuing the most humane and loving path forward

Even if you don’t hold a leadership position in your organization, all of us can be leaders simply because we can influence others in important, life-giving ways!

How do we continue to evolve into the leaders that are needed in this season?

Research consistently points to the critical work leaders must do that is PERSONAL and SPIRITUAL in nature. This includes engaging in practices that increase their awareness and ability to be present to self and others, help them reflect and make meaning, widen their capacity to hold complex thoughts and emotions, and point them toward the greater good. Leaders who are also cultivating self-compassion and love as central values that guide the way they live are the same leaders building healthy, thriving, and innovative organizations that employees and customers want to be connected to.

As leaders ourselves, we’ve experienced the kind of growth, healing, and transformation that can come when we are doing robust personal and spiritual work. We’ve seen what can happen when this kind of transformation happens in communities of people, willing to do this work together.

We want to create that kind of space right here in central Ohio.

Are you ready to dive deeper into this kind of work?

You are invited to apply to be a part of the next cohort of DEEPER WATERS: Innovative and Courageous Leaders.

This cohort will launch in January 2024 for 10 months of collective work.

As we do our work, we will engage and explore

  • An Innovative Leadership Model
  • Resources for cultivating deeper self-awareness, including the Enneagram
  • Tools for understanding and navigating our social location and its implications for social justice work in our organizations
  • Models for nurturing healthy, authentic communities
  • Daily meditative and reflective practices

Engagement in Deeper Waters will include:

  • Monthly in-person teaching sessions on Sunday afternoons at Hilliard UMC (2024 dates: Jan 28, Feb 11, Apr 14, May 5, June 2, Aug 18, Sept 15, Nov 3).
  • Monthly in-person/online small group sessions
  • Two in-person overnight retreats (March 1-3 & October 4-6)
  • All books and curriculum
  • Online learning platform that includes readings, videos, and podcasts to guide your learning
  • One-to-one session with one of the facilitators

Cost: $1500

This includes your food and expenses for the two retreats, as well as all books, curriculum, and group sessions.


Rev. April Blaine
Lead Pastor, Hilliard UMC
Adjunct Professor, Methodist Theological School in Ohio

Nikki Buskirk
Director of Middle Grades Ministry, Hilliard UMC

Dan Mushalko
Vice President, Innovative Leadership Institute

Beth Palmer
Director of Adult Discipleship, Hilliard UMC


“Deeper Waters was everything I didn’t know I needed. What made it a transformative experience for me was witnessing God showing up at various points along the way, often during moments when the group was being vulnerable with one another. It ended up feeling like a journey that goes beyond the curriculum description.” (Mike Boyers)

“As someone who has been privileged enough to be a part of this group for two years, it is hard to articulate the impact it has had on my life and what a great catalyst that it has been. This experience really opened me up. It broadened my perspectives. I was able to grow so much in my self knowledge with the tools that were taught and the conversations that we had. In my adult life, it helped me in getting more comfortable being uncomfortable. I’m coming to acceptance that I don’t control most things, and learning to flow with it. if you’re thinking about doing it, I can wholeheartedly say, take the leap. See where it leads. This experience has been one of the most meaningful in my life and I feel pretty confident saying it probably will be for you too.” (Emily Clark)

“I’m amazed how often I’ve found connections in random, everyday things and can then explore further because of my experience in Deeper Waters: increased self-awareness, connections with community, and deconstruction are just some of them.” (Stephanie Harrell)

“Deeper Waters has made a major difference in my life: self love, spiritual growth, working with others, growing together…” (Louann Liming)

Enneagram Classes

Hilliard UMC is a hub for learning about the Enneagram, a powerful tool for self-discovery and growth. Click or tap the image for more details, along with resources for beginners.

Click or tap image for details & signup links

Walk to Emmaus, Christian spiritual growth retreat

Walk to Emmaus

A Weekend Spiritual Retreat

The Greater Columbus Walk to Emmaus community hosts weekend spiritual retreats for adults a few times a year at the Church of the Purple Door (Grove City UMC). It’s an inclusive community, so we’re happy to support their work.

If you’ve never taken a spiritual retreat as an adult, we can’t recommend it highly enough!

Several members of the Hilliard UMC community have attended a walk as a pilgrim or served on a leadership team. Any of these folks would be happy to talk with you about this wonderful experience: Max & April Andrick, Virginia Blasingame, Lisa Haney, Melissa Landon, and Beth Palmer.


Foundational Classes

We regularly offer foundational classes to help ground your spiritual life and practice. Stay tuned to this page for details and signup links, as each class is offered.

  • Knowing Yourself, an introduction to the Enneagram, a powerful tool for self-discovery and growth.
  • Engaging the Bible, an opportunity to learn how to read and understand the Bible, using an ancient prayer practice called lectio divina (“sacred reading”).
  • Prayer & Meditation Boot Camp, for developing a consistent personal prayer practice.

Complete descriptions are listed HERE.


We don’t want the cost of books or class materials to get in the way of you taking a class, so sign up whether you have class or book money or not. Pay what you can from your heart (any amount welcome), or it’s on us, happily!

And if you’d like to contribute a few extra dollars toward a book or class materials for someone who doesn’t have money this time, we’re honored by your support, thank you! You can always contribute online here, or class facilitators will collect money at class.

Staff Contact

Beth Palmer, Director of Adult Discipleship
614.876.2403 (church office)