LIFE Groups = Bible Studies & Small Groups

We want you! Be a LIFE Group Host.

God’s number one characteristic throughout the Bible is mercy. His mercy heals broken hearts, reconciles relationships, restores forgotten dreams, and refreshes tired souls. It’s the cure to every insecurity, worry, and fear.

During the 6-week Miracle of Mercy series starting January 22-Feb 26, 2017, you will learn how to experience God’s healing mercy, and then offer that same mercy to others around you. That being said, we are looking for host homes for this series because the best way to go through The Miracle of Mercy series is in a life group. Sign up to start your own Miracle of Mercy life group by checking out the tabs below.

The unfailing love of the Lord never ends. His mercy never dries up. Because of his great faithfulness, God’s mercies are fresh and available each new day! Lamentations 3:22–23

Questions? Want to start a group? Email Jimmy today!

On Campus Groups

Sunday Groups & Classes

Mid-Week Groups & Classes

Info: On Campus Groups

Off Campus Groups

Home Bible Studies

Contact Jimmy Guvvala to join

Info: Off Campus Groups

LIFE Group Leaders

Upcoming Studies: Adult leaders please tell us what you are studying.

Leader: Upcoming Studies

Don’t Do Life Alone – Join a LIFE GROUP

Just as the name describes, LIFE GROUPS are where life happens.  God never intended us to do life alone, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another…” Hebrews 10:25a.  LIFE GROUPS at North Ridge come in many sizes and locations.  There are groups that meet Sunday mornings in classrooms around the church; there are groups that meet other days of the week on campus, there are dozens of groups that meet during the week in homes around the community; there are groups for women, men, singles, and more.

Life.  Jesus told His followers to “go out and make disciples.”  This is the primary focus of LIFE GROUPS.  Joining with others you will study what God says in the Bible, will talk about how to apply the teachings to our daily lives, and find friends who will encourage and support us as we live our lives for Christ.  Nearly all the groups have fun together, have periodic programs to make a difference in the community, and have regular social times.

Below is a map of where and when all the groups meet.  Also you will find the email address of the leader/facilitator of the group.  If you would email the leader, they will get back to you with additional information about the group.  If you are having trouble connecting with a leader you can call the church office (480-515-4673) and ask for Jimmy Guvalla or Dan King.

Call the office (480-515-4673) and ask for Jimmy or Dan.  They will meet with you, help you with some training and Bible Study material, and encourage you to recruit others to be part of the start-up of your group.

LIFE Group Testimonies

lattin groupOur group is going on our fifth year together. We are fairly eclectic in terms of membership with ages ranging from early 40’s to 65+, but we all have much love and appreciation for each other. We have studied all of the church-wide 40 Days series each fall. Last winter and spring, we studied the book of James, and many topical video series usually from Andy Stanley or Chip Ingram.

Jason Lattin is our group’s primary facilitator and he actively encourages others to try their hand at it – so far no takers! Bill and Barbara Hagan have a wonderful home for meeting, and they are always such generous hosts.

Our group has done lots of service projects including: feeding and clothing the homeless in Glendale, a luncheon for NRCC widows, church landscaping day (Service Saturday), visitation at Homeward Bound and several of our members have been on the Guadalajara mission trip more than once.

We have been there to support each other and pray through numerous personal challenges such as losing loved ones, job losses and health challenges. We have learned much together, and have seen many answers to pray and spiritual growth during our time together. We look forward to how God can grow and use in the coming year.

Our group consists of:  Jason & Vonda Lattin, Bill & Barb Hagan (hosts), Mike & Mary Burnidge, Claude & Joann Hill, Lyn Koll, Korky Lien, Ronald & Barbara Simms and Mark & Carol Trombino.

paluscioOur group has been together for about three years now. We meet on Sunday nights and our time together includes dinner, dessert and plenty of laughter and discussion. Our kick off for each year is always the 40 Days series. We usually break for the summer starting in May. We have studied the Truth Project and several topical DVD series from Pastor Rick Warren (Saddleback Church). We are currently going through the series Love and Respect; learning God’s best for our marriage relationships.

Our group is comprised of married couples with kids still at home and some who have just crossed over into being empty nesters. (We do not provide child care.) Currently we have Sal & Stacy Paluscio (hosts), Chuck and Linda Engman, Steve and Rhonda Sia, Darrin and AnneMarie Fox, David and Shelley Ledbetter.

One of the outreach projects we did was adopt a family for Christmas, buying gifts, wrapping and delivering them in person. The time of prayer and encouragement we had with the family was touching. This year God has brought needs of various people in our church to our attention and we met them with gifts, cards, meals and prayer support. We continue to look for opportunities to serve as a family so we can involve our kids.

Family events are also something we try and do once or twice a year. So far this year we have had a family bowling night – which was a hit!

All of the couples not only enjoy each other’s company but we have really developed a closeness and trust over this past year. I know as challenges arise in the coming year the love and support in this group will be a great encouragement.

evansOur group is relatively new; we started in the fall of 2012. Three new couples have already joined our group! We are a mixed group including; single parent, couple with school-age children, grown kids, newly-married and even a newly engaged couple. Our professions range from physician, insurance sales, computer services, pool services to retired and enjoying it!

We have completed several studies together including; 40 Days of Community (Rick Warren), Keep Climbing – Why God Doesn’t Give You Everything You Want (Todd Smith), Study of Jonah on Surrender (Andy Stanley), and our current series is from book of James by Walk Through the Bible.

We have had the opportunity to do one service project together – we invited families in our church neighborhood to the Thanksgiving dinner sponsored by Men’s Ministry. We actually walked the surrounding neighborhoods and gave out personal invitations.  We recently discovered that most members of our group like to hike, so we hope to plan a group hike in the near future.

Since we are still a relatively new group, we haven’t gone through any real crises together…yet.  But we know when we do – our group members will be there to support us.

Currently our group consists of:  Tom (facilitator) and Bev Murray, Gary & Misty Evans (hosts), John & Linda Vataha, Rol & Avene Eyestone, Dennis & Mary Winz, Arden Harrington, Ramona Ramsey, Jill Schuch and Tracy Sobers.

jarret-1Our group is going on our third year together, with the addition of Gary Williams last fall, and Dennis and Mary Winz this year.We have studied:The Purpose Driven Life, 40 Days of Love, and 40 Days of Community by Rick Warren and a study of 1st John.  We are currently studying God Loves You, He Always Has, He Always Will by David Jeremiah. While Dave and I are the facilitators, we encourage others to lead a lesson or offer to host.  I believe they are and will continue to be equipped to lead themselves.

Service projects we did together:

Each study we like to identify a “Micah 6:8 Champion” to facilitate a service project.  Several times we prepared, and served meals to the needy, and cleaned up afterwards at Paz de Cristo, a ministry that believes everyone is a child of God and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.

We helped a couple of times with the church community service day.  This session we are desiring to serve and visit God’s children who are confined to a nursing home.


Together we planned an event or meal together at someone’s home after each study.  We went together to Canaan in the Desert, and walked through the beautiful reliefs in the Prayer Garden that depicts God’s love for us .  A few of our woman went on NRCC Women’s Retreat together.

We have stood together through a couple of crisis together.  There are no words that can convey the loss of a child.  We can only offer God’s love. We held each other close and committed ourselves to prayer.  We offered our love and support, and help.  Being careful not to overwhelm them with our love.  And we Never stopped meeting together. 

PrendergastOur group has been together for almost four years.  We are all married couples, most of whom have young children. Young children make it challenging for couples to consistently attend a Life Group but we all understand the importance of meeting consistently so we make it a priority. We now have 20 members with an average of 14 attending every study.

Jim Prendergast is our primary facilitator and we meet either at his home or the Scott residence. We all bring something light to eat each week and occasionally have a full blown dinner spread.

Those members consist of: Jim and Julie Prendergast, Gary and Deanna Heiliger, Tom and Gigi Peterson, Kenny and Sharon Stropka, Randy Ciangi and Diane Moore, Gerry and Lisa Scott, Adam and Laura Westrope, Greg and Sarah Wade, Rod and Erin Meyers, Brian and Angel Paravicini

We have done several studies together – including: 40 Days of Love, Purpose Driven Life, Love and Respect, 40 Days of Community, 40 Days in the Word, Fruit of the Spirit, and we just started the Passion Series.

We also have bonded as a group by participating in several outreach projects all of which include modeling Christian service for our children. We adopt a family every Christmas. The Blessing Bag project was fun for the whole family. We assembled and distributed over 150 Blessing Bags to people we came across in our everyday life. This is project we continue year round. We support the Wings of Peace Soup Kitchen in Glendale by frequenting the Market on the Move produce distribution sites and are able to purchase 60lbs of produce for the soup kitchen. We have all grown close and consistently meet for fellowship, after church for lunch, play dates with the kids, golf and plenty of BBQ’s. We take an annual trip to Rocky Point for fellowship and will be going, once again this summer. Many of the challenges our group faces involve the stress associated with parenting young children, financial pressures and the impact it has on our marriages. However, most of us are just beginning our walk with Christ or rediscovering our relationship with Him. Our group is a very safe place for those who are just learning the Word, finding their way and searching for others in the same season of life. This Life Group has brought us lifelong friends and taught us more than we could have ever imagined. Don’t do life alone – join a Life Group!

Ektrom Roden Life Group 2013Our Life Group began with five couples, all grandparents, about seven years ago. We studied “The Purpose Driven Life” with NRCC and then got together over the summer and started up again in the fall, losing two couples, but gaining three. We have expanded to include three widows, a brand new set of parents, adopting Liya, from Ethiopia, and a young married couple. We have all been believers for many years so share the practical lessons we’ve learned over the years with one another as we live life. We have studied a variety of books and DVDs, more on Grace than any other topic. Two members of our group have had extensive bouts with poor health, ie: cancer. We’ve experienced the death of one of our members and now new life!  We enjoy meals together on fifth Mondays and in the summer.  Our ministry projects include providing extensive Christmas Dinner boxes for Steps of Faith ministry on Thomas Road (for 4 years) and purchasing Christmas gifts for children in foster care with Christian Family Care ( 5 or 6 years).  Some of our group made a trip to Rainbow Acres this fall and many of us serve the community with service on non-profit boards of directors and other volunteer/ministry opportunities.  Praying for one another is what encourages all of us the most.

Our group includes:  Jim & Shelly Roden, Hosts and Co-Leaders;  Richard & Linda Hayes;  Lorne & Marie Peat (two of the original couples); Orland & Stacey Boucher (new parents);  Dave & Penny Mielke (not NRCC attendees);  Anthony & Arianne Roy (new this fall);  Anita Parnin;  Mary Anderson;  Marty Goodwin;  Jack & Sharon Grammar (unable to attend now, due to Jack’s health issues) and Chuck & Kay (the writer) Ekstrom, Leaders.

DoruchersOur group is going on our third year together.  This year Rachel Varner and Marci Penman have joined our group; and John and Susy Kuenster have rejoined the group after a few months off.

Our Studies:

  • 40 Days of Prayer and 40 Days of Community (Pastor Rick Warren)
  • Believe as Jesus Believed (Bill Hull and John Mascarella)
  • Heaven (Randy Alcorn)
  • Tough Questions – Is the Bible Trustworthy?  (Gary Poole and Judson Poling of Willow Creek Church)

We are currently studying The Truth Project by Dr. Del Tackett of Focus on the Family.

Next up for us is a local layman’s research on historical events that could be what is spoken of in the Revelations of John.  No one knows the time except the Father, but He gave us these revelations and instructed us to keep watch; that we would see wars and rumors of wars etc.  In this study we will look at various historical events and contrast and compare them to the Seven Seals and Seven Trumpet in Revelation.

Our hosts are Deb and Tom Dorough.  They have opened their home to us and have been gracious hosts since we began as a group.  We research studies that the group is interested in and facilitate the lessons and discussion.  Several of us share the facilitating role including Pat, Tom and Debra.

Our group is very American and we are a melting pot: of ages, interests, church backgrounds and places in our spiritual journey.  We have seekers and lifelong studiers of the Bible and everything in between.  This diversity has made a great tapestry of our group.  We get our inspiration as first time Bible readers ask questions; and life-group members at every place in our walk with God share insights, experiences, fears and doubts.  Our common bond is that we all desire to be doers of the Word, not just studiers.  A lot of our discussion and conversation centers around what God is saying to us and what do we need to do about it.  Our mission is “Changed lives- one person at a time.” We typically devote the evening to study, discussion and share a meal together after completing each study.

Service projects:

We have served multiple times on NRCC Night at the Andre House which is organized by Roger Stevenson.  Bob Busing was our group champion for the Carefree Food Bank Drive and Christmas Angel Family.

Our Group includes Greg Anderson, Robert & Barbara Buising, Tom & Deb Dorough, Pete & Pat Durocher, Judy Henrich, John & Suzi Kuenster,  Barbara McManigle, Marci Penman & Douglas & Rachel Varner.

BucklesOur group formed summer ’12 through mutual friendships.  Two families.. the Countrymen & the Fowlers…and we have a cumulative of 12 kids between us!  We strive to meet twice a month (as our busy young-family schedules can mesh) – one weeknight and one weekend night with a potluck and relaxed fellowship – and we trade off hosting in our homes.  We have studied “Love & Respect,” and are currently doing “Crazy Love.”  We enjoy each other’s company outside of group as well.  The ladies go deeper over coffee, Kate’s Cup, play dates, retreats and spa days, and a women’s Bible study.  The men recently took their boys on a father-son weekend camp-out, and meet for accountability breakfasts.  Several of us serve together on the worship team.

Our goal is to facilitate a safe and welcoming environment for us to be honest about our struggles and our victories in our faith, and to encourage one another in our marriages and our walk with God.  We are currently walking together through cancer, foster care & adoption, and job transitions.