There was such a lot to fit in to the reviews of 2017 leading up to the APCM, the Lifegroups seemed to warrant their own post, so here they are…
If you are curious about joining a Lifegroup but wonder whether it would be your cup of tea, read on…
Thursday Lifegroup led by Deborah and Matthew Wetherall
At the beginning of 2017 our Lifegroup had grown in size so divided to become 2 groups. (For the “other half”, keep reading – Ed.)
As we returned to a smaller group this was an opportunity for relationships to deepen further. We have continued to support each other pastorally and in prayer through life’s ups and downs, and of course we have been encouraged by the many answers to prayer we have had.
Courses have included: Jesus’ teaching in the parables and his early miracles; our Lent course ‘Season of Renewal’ was described as a course which is ‘Into God’ rather than ‘About God’ and was a great opportunity to deepen our faith; two courses which impacted many members of the group were ‘Life on the frontline’ and ‘Fruitfulness on the frontline’, encouraging us to reach out to those we come into contact with on a day to day basis and share God’s love with them.
Our termly joint Lifegroup ‘Word and worship’ sessions have been a great opportunity for us to worship for extended periods and share and encourage each other in a larger group
Quotes from the group:
I can feel God’s presence with us when we meet together
Meeting mid-week is more important to me spiritually than going to church on a Sunday
I can tell that others in the group have grown in confidence and faith
I feel God is changing me so that I am starting to see people through His eyes and respond accordingly
I can’t imagine not coming to Life group every week
The KJTS Life Group formed at the start of 2017 in order to provide more Lifegroup capacity. It is led by Karen Perez, Jeff Higgins and Simon & Tina Edwards (KJTS).
We meet in each other’s homes most Thursday evenings, including during school holidays, to share LIFE (Learning, Intercession, Fellowship, and Evangelism).
When we started, we agreed a set of principles and practices for the Life Group, which have helped us along the way.
We have tried out different approaches to keep it fresh and fun. But a typical meeting will start with a catch up and prayer over drinks and biscuits, followed by exploration of a topic / a passage in the Bible. We have used DVD series and study guides, with mixed success. Although we like the structure provided by these series, we decided to start researching the topics for ourselves and bringing what we found to the group. Although this can entail more preparation, we have found it more rewarding.
We try to share a meal together once a term and also to meet with other Life Groups for an evening of praise and prayer on one of our homes.
Highlights of 2017 included:
– examining our spiritual gifts, and discernible spiritual growth in all the members of the group
– participation in the Invitation Week during Lent and meeting and being inspired by the ordinands who spent that week with us
– supporting each other on our frontlines through the year
– seeing answers to prayer, and a wonderful prayer walk around the centre of Stoke Poges
In 2017 we each led a reflection on our favourite passages in the Bible and we have researched and looked at different types of parables
We have also followed structured study series on:
– what it means to be a follower of Christ – with the help of the iEquip online resource for new small groups ‘Follow Me And…’
– lessons from the life of Samson – using the CWR DVD and book, ‘There Are No Strong People’
– ‘The Me I Want to Be’ by Jon Ortberg
The Ladies’ Lifegroup had a few memorable moments in 2017
The Great Stoke Poges Bake-off was our contribution to Invitation Week in March 2017. The planning kept us busy for the Spring term, preparing handmade gift bags, recipes (and sampling the practice cakes!) our testimonies and, most importantly, inviting friends who would not normally come to church to “taste and see”. It all seemed worth it in the end!
We spent the summer term on a Bible study at the end of which, we waved a sad farewell to Tracy (and the vicarage, where we had spent so many evenings of fellowship, prayer and study under Tracy’s leadership). In September, we popped down to Walton on the Hill to check the whole Latham family, including the new pup, had settled in to their new home in September. We then immersed ourselves in a 12 week study on the book of Daniel, leading up to Christmas.
We now take turns to lead and host the Ladies’ Lifegroup to fit around busy work and family lives.