A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy Birthday, Joy Bunch!

Last night, a small group in our church invited me to join them for their December gathering. Not only was the discussion great, (they've been focusing on a small group book on the meaning of Christmas) but one of the couples in the group provided an incredible dinner!

This particular small group began four years ago as part of our church's launch of the PALS model of small group ministry. PALS is based on the four major components for a healthy and growing small group:

P - Prayer. How meaningful to hear the prayer concerns and joys of this small group and to pray with them last night!

A - Action. This small group has reached out to various needs within our congregation and they collect household products for people in need.

L - Learning. One of the members led a discussion on the Christmas bible study book last night.

S - Sharing. This choked me up last night. One of the small group members reminded everyone that December marks the 4th birthday anniversary of this small group. They spent time reflecting on the original members of the group, newer members, marriages, deaths, and other life transitions they have experienced together as a small group. One of their small group members is now home bound but is still part of the small group.

This small group gave themselves the name, "The Joy Bunch" and I can see why. After being at one of their gatherings, you can sense the hope and joy they have through their faith in Jesus Christ. Notice their smiles in the picture from last night's meeting.

Happy birthday, Joy Bunch! And thanks for your Prayers, Action, Learning, & Sharing.

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