I began my ministry in small group development at St. Mary’s one year ago in December. This year of developing the framework for small group ministry has been one of the most interesting and rewarding experiences of my life, and many of you have been part of that. As any of you who have come to a small group training know, I like to end my groups by asking each person to share their highlights of the gathering. I thought at the end of 2018, I would share a few of the many highlights of my first year.
Starting in January, a leadership team of 12 women began meeting monthly to prepare for the ECW annual retreat in June. Small support groups led by these women were the backbone of the retreat, because we wanted each woman to have a place where she could deeply share with others. Leadership teams beautifully planned every aspect of the retreat, from worship to recreational time. Most of these women are now planning the 2019 women’s retreat. Working with these wonderful women was a strong highlight of the first half of the year.
In April 2018, the first monthly leadership support and training group was held for anyone interested in getting a small group started, and it has met nearly every month since. Attendance has ranged from 3 to 17, with lively participation and deepening relationships as we practice taking turns listening to one another in pairs, small groups of three or four, and whole circle groups. I have thoroughly enjoyed each meeting and getting to know so many amazing people.
Another highlight was starting the first monthly support group in October for anyone at St. Mary’s who was raised Catholic. This lovely group means a lot to me personally, as I was raised Catholic and have slowly found a true home in the Episcopal Church, and I want others to have support in doing the same.
At St. Mary’s, we want to offer the opportunity for each person who wants one to have a small group. Join me for our next monthly leadership training and support group, which will meet Sunday, December 9, 4-6 PM in the Guild Room. All are welcome.
Questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.