As a church, we are going to start walking the path of intentional relationship together. This is a view of church outside of merely giving an hour on Sunday morning. It is a way of viewing the church as a journey that we walk together every day with people that care about us. This inter-connectedness is for all ages as we seek to fulfill the baptismal promises that we have made for our children and which have been made for us.
Here is how we will do this:
SMALL GROUP MINISTRIES FOR ADULTS
We have had small groups for a long time. Women Circles, quilting groups, our parish nurse ministries, prison ministry, and some adult bible studies. As we look to develop everyone’s relationship with God, however, we see that there is room for growth. This Fall will see the unfolding of new small groups that seek to offer all members of our congregation a place to connect.
1. Parenting a Parent: A Support Group for those who find themselves in the role of caring for aging parents.
2. Fermentation Group: A Fellowship Group that will learn about fermenting all sorts of things, from grains to vegetables. The first session will be an introduction to brewing beer in the latter half of September.
3. Parent’s Connection: A Fellowship and Support Group that will meet Wednesday night after the mid-week meal in the courtyard at 6:15pm. Members of this small group will have a chance to share and pray over struggles, as well as relax and enjoy a time of fellowship through games or further conversation. The nursery will be staffed during this time. Parent’s Connection will start on September 13.
4. Men’s Bible Study: A Study Group that will meet on Saturday mornings at Billy’s café in Gretna at 7:00am. This will be the foundation group upon which further men’s ministry will be built. Men’s bible study will be using the Men’s Master Builder Bible and will start on the 23rd of September.
5. Theology on Tap: The is a Fellowship Group that is meeting on the first Tuesday of the month at Brag N Rights at 7:00pm. This group shares questions about the bible or topics of the day and seeks a Lutheran Christian’s approach to answer.
7. Logos: A weekly Study Group that will meet in the conference room at 10:00am on Tuesday morning. This group will look ahead at Sunday’s worship texts in order to be better prepared to receive God’s word. This group will begin on September 19th.
8. Over 55: A Fellowship Group for those who are over 55. To begin the group will meet on the 4th Thursday of the month for supper at a location which will be announced ahead of time. This group will begin on September 28.
9. Prayer Team: A Support and Service Group that will steward the congregation’s prayer list. The PT will also be present to pray over specific meetings of the church where decisions that shape the future of our ministry are discussed, i.e. council, SLRP, and the annual meeting. This will be done so that these groups will know that they are being prayed for and so that the church will know that the Spirit is invoked in all of our decision making.
10. Prayer Partners: A Support Group with a simple premise, those that desire will have a formal opportunity to pray for each other. On Sunday, September 17, look for the Small Group display in the Café. Find a partner beforehand, or leave your name for someone else to partner with and then meet; once a week, or month, or whatever will work for you to share things that are going on in your life and the life of your partner. After sharing you will pray for one another.
11. Women’s Fellowship: A long-standing organization for women who meet to study the Bible and share an hour or so of conversation, as well. Our offerings serve to provide the funds for quilting material for Lutheran World Relief and furnishings in the church, and to go toward worthy causes in the ELCA and locally. There are two circles; the Dorcas Circle, which meets on the third Tuesday of most months at 9:00am and the Miriam/Ruth Circle, which meets on the third Thursday of most months at 2:00pm at SilverRidge Assisted Living Center.
12. Cribbage Group: Expert and beginners meet once a month for cribbage, fellowship and fun in the Courtyard on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 6:30pm.
Along with our adult small groups the church will offer Youth Groups for all ages. These groups are again intended to help our kids and their parents form relationships with one another. Throughout the year these groups will engage in activities for service and for fun outside the walls of our building and Sunday School.
1. Fish: The Fish Youth Group is for Pre-K through Kindergarten. Our first Fish event will be a trip to Vala’s on October 1.
2. Lambs: The Lambs Youth Group is for 1st grade through 5th. Their first event will also be a trip to Vala’s on October 1.
3. Lions: The Lions Youth Group is for 6th through 8th grade. Their events are made up of the service projects, fellowship events, and field trips built into the confirmation program.
4. Underground: Our established High School Youth Group which will continue to meet on Wednesday nights.
As you can see, God is always making us new. I encourage everyone to get deeper into the life of the congregation, so that you can experience a Resurrection life. If none of these groups sound right for you, let us know what does sound right and what you will be willing to do to see it done.
This September, let us go all in, to get engaged, and to be the church.