Small Groups at Church at the WellWritten by admin on Jan 04, 2018 in - No Comments
Small Groups at Church at the Well
Looking back and looking ahead
Whoever said that church is a Sunday thing wasn’t hanging out at Church at the Well this past fall, when we launched three new small groups. Previously, Church at the Well small groups had focused on a biblical book such as Romans or Philippians, discussed a contemporary book such as The Good and Beautiful Life by James Bryan Smith, or engaged a video curriculum such as The Gospel in Life (Tim Keller) or How We Love (Kay & Milan Yerkovich). This fall we decided to launch a new kind a small group: community groups.
Community is a core value at Church at the Well. In fact, it is so important to us that we consider it one of the four ways in which we are called to reintroduce Jesus in Vermont. (The other ways are through worship, service, and creativity). Conversations on Sunday mornings can be scattered, but meeting weekly for an hour or two at someone’s house during the week offers a foundation for deeper connections to take place and the church family to be just that: a family. “Community group deepened our knowledge and relationship with both God and each other, as we took the time to get to know the scriptures more intimately and spend time together as a group,” comments Laurie Menard, who co-led the Tuesday night community group with her husband, Mike.
So what happens at Community Group? A good deal of time is devoted to discussing the sermon from the previous Sunday with the help of prepared discussion questions. (These discussion questions are available every week at the Connect Table and are published on the website with the podcast—you don’t have to be in a community group to use them.) It can be easy to listen to a Sunday morning sermon and then move on with one’s week, soon forgetting its message. Community group challenges us to dig deeper, offers space for asking questions, and gives us a chance to talk about how we might incorporate the teaching in our day-to-day.
Prayer and sometimes worship are also part of the community group experience. When the Wednesday night community group leaders discovered this past fall that one of the participants had led worship in his previous church, they invited him to lead the group in a song or two, and after that night, guitars showed up regularly on Wednesday nights! And of course, there is plenty of time for fellowship in community groups, whether over snacks at the end of the evening or during a potluck celebration.
In addition to community groups, another kind of small group met this past fall: a study group. Led by Rodman Cory, who brings a wealth of theological training to the table, Epistolary Sequels, which continues this winter, looks at the books of 2 Corinthians, 2 Thessalonians, 2 Timothy, 2 Peter, and 2 & 3 John. “After more than forty years of studying scripture in small groups, I’m still amazed by what happens when God’s people gather and open His Word together in His Presence,” wrote Rodman in an email to the group. Members of Epistolary Sequels benefit not only from rich instruction in the scriptures on Tuesday evenings, but a weekly email from Rodman’s desk, recapping the previous week’s themes with a healthy dose of well-distilled insight. For Mary Crowley, Epistolary Sequels has been her first exposure to studying scripture in a small group format. “I’ve been so grateful to discover this encouraging, supportive community and am regularly challenged to apply my learning about who God is and what He’s doing in the world in new ways.”
This winter, several new small groups will be starting, and some continuing. If you are looking to connect with members of the body of Christ at Church at the Well, as well as grow in your knowledge of scripture and your walk with God, we welcome you to consider joining one!
Small Groups – Winter 2018
Community Group 1: Led by Karen & Peter Newman
WHEN: Sundays 4:30 – 5:30PM (January 14th – March 11th)
WHERE: The Newman’s House, South Burlington
CONTACT: Karen Newman firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Group 2: Led by Mark Pettersen
WHEN: TBD (start date in February)
CONTACT: Mark Pettersen email@example.com
Duty Or Delight Women’s Study Group – Join us for a journey to overcome spiritual insecurity using six foundational truths from Ephesians 1:3-23. You will discover the beautiful news that God has not only chosen you for a deep, soul-satisfying relationship but He also constantly supplies everything you need to know Him this way. If you’ve been longing for a deeper relationship with God, this study is for you!
WHEN: Mondays 12:00 – 1:30PM (January 15th – March 5th)
WHERE: The Bohlman’s House, South Burlington
CONTACT: Jill Bohlman firstname.lastname@example.org
Epistolary Sequels – In every case, initial epistles are longer, more accessible, and more often studied. Although the church rarely gives serious consideration to second and third epistles, we’re about to change that. We’ll begin each phase of our study with a one-week overview of one of the five New Testament letters that was the first in a series, then wade in with an in-depth look at the shorter, more challenging, less well-known epistles that came later: 2 Corinthians, 2 Thessalonians, 2 Timothy, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John. In the process we’ll get to know three different authors and come face-to-face with some of the most challenging material in the New Testament canon.
WHEN: Tuesdays 7:00 – 8:30PM (January 16th – May 8th)
WHERE: The DeCapua’s House in South Burlington
CONTACT: Rodman Cory Rodman.Cory@uvm.edu
Prepare/Enrich – An 8-week study for couples (March 1st – April 18th). If you desire more understanding and less arguing, confidence and clarity to talk about sensitive topics, insight on how to be each other’s cheerleader and lover, then this group is for you! Whether you are in year 0, 5, 10, 25 or more, PREPARE/ENRICH will help you visualize your relationship, put facts behind your feelings, and discover ways to open up doors for communication and intimacy.
WHEN: Thursdays 7PM (March 1st – April 19th)
WHERE: The Lehman’s House, Williston
CONTACT: Matt & Tasha Lehman email@example.com