In order for you to connect more fully with others, and for new faces to discover the warmth and genuine community at Saint Barnabas, we are launching a new approach to Growth Groups during Lent. We have divided the membership list of our parish by geographical areas and into small groups.
Though these groups will focus on a study in homes or at the church, these Growth Groups have the potential to become ‘hubs’ of community in our parish. It is my hope that each group meet biweekly during the school year and will become places where life happens. Perhaps in the off weeks between studies groups could meet for fellowship or dinner. Maybe multiple groups could meet for a Trivia Night or dinner outing. Additionally, these groups will create wonderful opportunities to check in on one another, care for one another, and hopefully notify the church office of needs, sickness or challenges that may arise within the group.
In the next couple of weeks, you will receive a call from your leader. Please respond. I believe the fruit will be rich as you commit to meet with others in your area, across ages and stages of life to spur one another on in the Lord. Invest in your life, the life of your family, and that of your church. It is fitting we begin doing so in this season of Lent whereby we invest more fully in our relationship with the Lord.
The second focal point is mission. I shared that we have a goal of being a parish that gives 10% of our budget as a tithe toward mission beyond our walls. We are stepping out in faith to get halfway to that mark this year. In fact, we are sending out our first check of support this month! We aim to support Camp Crucis, Mexico, Malawi, mission agencies, missionaries in the field, and our local mission partners.
Beyond merely financial support we are creating opportunities for you to invite others into life at Saint Barnabas. The first opportunity is our “Movie Under the Stars” night in a couple of weeks. We pray it will be a time that people in our community can come to interact and connect. And we need your help in doing the inviting and taking part in being present for this fun event!
These efforts are vital in our first year as a parish. I hope you will invest and invite in your own life and the life of our church this year. It is an exciting season and one that will produce growth fruit in our lives and the lives of others as we tend to these areas intentionally this year.