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Community Groups

 

We see community groups as a vital part of the life of our churches. Being part of a group supports each of us to grow deeper in our relationship with God as we seek to become whole-life, lifelong disciples. The groups are a place for prayer, bible study and for pastoral care and are an excellent place to deepen our relationships with each other, to care for one another and to share the highs and lows of our lives together. Groups also look for ways to reach out to family, friends, colleagues to share the good news of the gospel with them. The groups are all different, with these core components but with a varying emphasis on them.

Currently, there are 10 groups led by members of St Andrews, of which three (the two ‘at work’ groups and the Young Adults group) currently have members from both churches. Then there is one daytime group at All Saints. For various reasons we need to have a bit of a shuffle. One group is closing and there will be three new groups. We would like the groups to become inter-church groups, led and attended by members of either or both congregations.

We would very much encourage as many people as possible to link up to one of the groups, for prayer and pastoral support, even if you cannot attend every week.

It is likely that there will be options for groups on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. One of these hopes to be a locality-based group based on Welland/Malvern Wells. The ‘men at work ‘and ‘women at work’ groups led by Dave & Alice will continue. There is a bi-weekly Friday 10.30 group that meets at the church. There is a ‘Young Adults’ group for 20’s and 30’s. For newcomers to the churches, we plan to run a 6-week group from time to time based on the ‘Rhythms of Grace’ teaching that we all had this time last year, before moving people into the existing group structure.

So, from this Sunday for four weeks until 8th April, there will be sheets out for everybody to ‘sign up, at both churches even if you are definitely staying with your current group. For those wanting to go to the evening groups, we will ask you to state the nights you are free to attend as we have to merge new attendees, current members and people in St Andrews who are changing groups.  The leaders will prayerfully draw up group lists, keeping their current members where appropriate, moving people who they believe would benefit from a change and adding the extras from both churches. It is possible we will need to identify an extra leader, depending on how many people sign up. The final topic in our current sermon series is ‘Journeying Together’ which seems like an appropriate topic for the first meeting of the new groups – so we hope that 30th April will be the start date for the new and revised groups.

So, I really want to encourage everyone to sign up and get the benefits of being part of one of our community groups. If you are placed in a group and after a couple of months it really isn’t working for you, we will review the choice in discussion with you. Please feel free to talk to me or email me over the next three weeks. This is a big step, so please also pray for myself and the group leaders as we implement this plan.

This talk was presented to All Saints by Val Fane. Her email and phone for any questions are 01684 566601 and nv@fanes.uk