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What are Claire's Communities and How do they work?


In the summer of 2020, I tentatively joined a local book club that met outside (oh, the unique memories of COVID). I looked forward to the first meeting. Not only were they reading a book about race that had moved me deeply (The Hate U Give), but I was also excited to connect with new people. Fresh air, meaningful conversation, and maybe even some socially distanced snacks—it had all the elements of a perfect evening.


However, when I showed up, only one other person out of the fifteen in attendance had read the book. The conversation was about as awkward as a middle school dance, with people trying to talk about race without really talking about race (as well as lacking the examples and context of the book). Both the content and connection of the discussion were missing, and I left feeling like we had missed out on something beautiful.


In January of that same year, I had started my own discussion and writing group on faith and feminism, based off an interfaith and feminism writing meeting I'd attended in downtown Bloomington. This group has ended up providing me with more than four years of personal and communal growth and was exactly what I hoped the book club might also be.


What is Claire’s Communities then?


Claire’s Communities is like a book club, but better.

Imagine the excitement of embarking on a journey of exploration and connection with a small group of 1-5 individuals who share a common interest with you. These companions could be your closest friends, or perhaps acquaintances from your high school or college days, creating a nostalgic yet enriching dynamic. This group could include your significant other, fostering a deeper connection through shared experiences and mutual interests. Alternatively, involving your siblings or parents in this venture could create a unique opportunity for bonding and understanding within families. You might also consider expanding your circle by engaging with individuals from your local community. Whether through religious organizations, libraries, workplace connections, or volunteer activities, you have the chance to meet new people who share your passions and curiosities.


By bringing together this diverse group of individuals, you open the door to a world of possibilities for meaningful conversations, learning experiences, and lasting relationships. The shared interest acts as a common thread weaving through the fabric of your interactions, creating a tapestry of connection and discovery that enriches the lives of all involved.


After purchasing the course (splitting the cost in your group—because who doesn't love saving money?), you have eight modules to work through at your own pace. No prep is needed, so you don’t have to feel guilty about showing up without having read the book for a book club (though there are recommended resources if you want them!). You just need to find a time to meet together and go through the modules together.


I hope you make these meetings special.


It could look like:

  • Every Thursday, gather together in someone’s living room and eat ice cream (because everything is better with ice cream).

  • On the last Sunday of each month, grab a cup of tea and hop on a Zoom call (pajamas optional but encouraged).

  • Every other Wednesday, reserve a room at your local library (bonus points if you whisper dramatically).

The important thing is to set aside the time.


Each course contains material you can go over together (quotes, definitions, artwork) as well as a few activities. What really makes these courses meaningful and unique are the discussion questions. The modules contain both warm-up and think-and-share questions where you are asked to reflect on your experiences, beliefs, and values. Each person should take the chance to think aloud (hopefully prompted by the material you’ve gone over together as well).

Discussion questions include:

  • What was one of your earliest memories around money? (Hopefully not involving a piggy bank heist.)

  • Where and how have you learned about expectations of beauty? Where in your faith have these messages been confirmed or contradicted? (Time to spill the tea, literally and metaphorically.)

  • Have you had an empowering experience around politics? What made it empowering? (Or what makes it hard to feel empowered?—looking at you, Election Day chaos.)


Claire’s Communities has been intentionally designed for you to connect with others and build your own community while learning about and reflecting on really important parts of life.


So grab a couple of friends, a partner, your siblings, or reconnect with old friends and start one of our courses today! Because let’s face it, we could all use a little more connection and a lot more ice cream in our lives.




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