Dear member of All Saints,
The Churchwardens have asked me to write this week, to highlight the value and blessings of homegroups in our church’s life.
Psalm 68:6 says “God places the lonely in families”. Within our church family, the homegroup structure has provided a place where every person can enjoy a sense of belonging, the opportunity to work out how to live for Jesus in their particular set of circumstances, and the encouragement of knowing that others will give prayer and practical support in their times of need.
We have 11 homegroups with around 120 people involved in them. Overall participation has risen since the pandemic – with more being able to be join in from home, and because we have valued our small group all the more while separated from other friends and family. It has to be admitted that many of us get that “sense of impending zoom” before our online meetings; nevertheless we have been so grateful for the technology that has enabled us to continue seeing and talking to each other. The discussion material which is being used by all the groups this term ( Living in Hope – 1 Peter) is tailor-made for groups meeting “remotely”.
I am deeply grateful to God for our homegroup leaders. They are a wonderful bunch of people who care deeply and work hard to devise new & imaginative ways to continue supporting those in their group. Their attitudes of kindness and welcome have rubbed off on their group members – it has been my joy to regularly come across folk quietly serving and supporting others, and shining the light of Jesus in these challenging times.
Our church leaders want to ensure that every member of All Saints feels supported. However, when we haven’t been able to meet, it is difficult to know if someone is struggling on their own. For those who are part of a homegroup we can rest easy, knowing that their small group “family” will rally round them. If you are not in a homegroup for whatever reason, please don’t struggle on your own. Our Christian lives are not meant to be lived out in isolation. Peter reminds us we are a chosen people , a people belonging to God, a people who have received mercy, a people called out of darkness into His wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9-10).
Know that there are folk in the church who will gladly help you. In the first instance, pick up the phone and call the church office. On Tuesdays, Rhiannon is around specially to listen and to help. Or turn to one of our homegroup leaders. (There is information here.)
Anita Benson (Homegroups co-ordinator and Leadership Team member)