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Hopeful Story, March 6, 2016

  On Tuesday, a winter storm packing 30 centimetres of new snow was predicted. Our small group was scheduled to meet, but the weather forecast compelled us to cancel. Everyone was disappointed because we love getting together and we were eager to see each other again.
  Last week, I spoke with someone who was dealing with a health issue. “Don’t tell anyone until I’ve shared it with my small group,” he said. “I want them to hear it from me first.” That’s the power of a small group. It keeps people connected, gives people a sense of belonging, and makes a large church feel like a small family.
  My group is a multi-generational group that includes Twenty Somethings, Sixty Somethings and everything in between. We always meet at Brian and Catherine’s home, a couple known for their amazing hospitality. Every person takes a turn bringing snacks. For thirty minutes, beginning at 7 p.m., we socialize and check in with each other. Then we spend an hour discussing the Sunday message. At 8:30 p.m. we close with prayer and attack the snacks again. By 9, our hosts have their home back, a realistic and sustainable time boundary that everyone appreciates. Our group is quite large as small groups go – thirteen members – but it works. So well, that I wish you the same positive experience! Recently, the pastoral elders learned that there are at least nineteen small groups in our church, involving more than one hundred and sixty persons. This does not include the Succession Planning team which functions as a small group at its bi-weekly meetings, the Tabletalks for Seasoned Souls that meets monthly or the Ignite group that meets every week on Thursday night. Many of these groups have room for others.
  If you want to experience more spiritual growth and a stronger sense of involvement in our church, please call or e-mail Judi, our small group co-ordinator, or Melissa, our Community Life Zone Co-ordinator. They will find you a place to belong.
- Pastor Peter