Are you missing seeing people face-to-face?
I certainly am and I understand how many of you are feeling isolated right now. Though we still can’t gather in-person for worship until the virus cases are under control, there is another way you can connect with people in addition to on-line worship and Zoom opportunities.
Small groups have always been the mainstay of church life and are actually the way that Methodism began and spread across the US. We want to encourage you to start or find a small group that you can join and be a part of.
It’s easier than you might think, and I’ll bet you already have two or three people you get together with or would like to. Our on-line worship and various Zoom studies and fellowship opportunities are just one option and can provide a basis for deeper in-person conversation and fellowship. Small groups create the space and deep relationship building that enables our faith to come alive and grow.
Why be in a small group?
Fellowship – Meet new friends, stay connected, have support and encouragement. Sharing a meal or snack can build conversation and friendship.
Prayer – Pray for each other. We all have things we need prayer for, and a small group can be a safe place.
Bible Study – Reading the Bible together helps understanding and sharing of ideas builds confidence in personal study. You will grow in your faith.
Fun – Playing games, traveling, sight-seeing, or going to a show together. Sharing common interests is fun and builds joy.
What do I have to do?
Are you willing to “host” a group? You don’t have to be the leader, but hosting means you are willing to have a few people over (safely), less than 10 total.
Can’t host but willing to facilitate? Helping start conversations with open questions or sharing a devotion or video. This need not be long, 10-15 minutes is often perfect. The rest of the time is fellowship, games, fun, eating.
Do you already have a group and space to welcome someone else?
Picking someone up who doesn’t drive so they can join in.
Be consistent in your presence (as health and circumstances allow).
Be discrete and honor one another as hearts and prayers are shared. Small groups are always confidential in what is shared.
Invite a friend or neighbor to join.
How do I start?
First let us know if you are willing to host and/or lead a group.
Who would you like to invite? Think about neighbors, even if you don’t know them, they are probably lonely too and would welcome an invite.
We can help identify people that live nearby and are connected to the church for you to invite.
We can provide devotional ideas and other resources you may need.
Your safety and your guests are top priority. How many can you host to keep reasonable safe distances? Groups can be from 3-10 in total size.
Wear face coverings when together.
Consider “BYOS” – Bring Your Own Snack and don’t share until it’s safer to do so.
Convenience – Set a day and time that is convenient and keep it consistent whether you meet weekly or once a month, be consistent.
Keep it fun – While we all get serious at times and need to seek and be supported, fun and joy are important, so keep it light. Play music, watch a movie together, have a book club, activities are a means to building relationships.
If you’d like to host, lead, or join a group, contact one of the pastors and we’ll help.
Certainly, you may not be ready for gatherings of any size if you are at risk or ill, so keep connected through on-line opportunities or have a couple friends to share phone calls, but make the effort to stay connected to others.
So, how about it? Are you ready to connect, have fun, and share life together? Small groups are the perfect place and once we’re back to worshipping together, it’ll be even more meaningful for you.