Featured Groups on index page rather than Latest groups

I'd like to display my featured groups on the index page rather than the Latest Groups which is what is displayed by default?  Anyone that could lead me in the right direction?

I would also love to be able to sort groups alphabetically in the main group listing area.

Thanks!

Beginning Developers

Beginning Developers

This space is for newcomers, who wish to build a new plugin or to customize an existing one to their liking