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building a community to reach a community

Community Groups are “Like Family”

We started in a community group at Grace when our now 11-year-old son Skyler was in a high chair. Since that time the Grace community group gathering that we take part in every Sunday evening throughout the school year, is like a family. Together we have lived though deaths of parents, births of children, baptisms of our members and we’ve grown in many ways as close as blood relatives. Group members pray for one another and jump in to bring food and comfort to one another in times of need. When trying times come, as they always do, there is no doubt that we are all there for each other.

We have strengthened our faith by talking about a specific topic each week. Often it is the sermon, but we have also discussed books and we even did a study on the movie Courageous.

 Lifelong friendships among adults and children are a great benefit of small group! Isaac, Abbie and Skyler enjoy a swim at Watauga Lake together.

“Iron sharpens iron” is an expression that holds true for our group. In addition to being guided by our leader, each week the group is enriched by the thoughtful discussion that occurs by all of the members of the group. Hearing from the others helps us all to see different ways of looking at the same subject.

For our group “breaking bread” and sharing a weekly meal with the children and adults all together is an important time of cohesion building. Each of us brings a dish to share every Sunday evening and the fellowship and conversation (along with the food) is always delightful.

The highlight of each year is an annual weekend trip to Pigeon Forge. We all caravan west together and then pile into a large mountainside cabin where we enjoy plenty of food and fun together. It’s a great chance to relax and get away from our everyday stresses and worries and get to know members of the group on a more personal level. The kids really look forward to sharing some special times together at the cabin each year.

 In New Orleans

Additionally, our group finds external projects to do each year. We conducted Christmas shopping trips for Mountain View families even before Grace became involved with the school. We have worked at the Giving Depot and teamed with another group to provide a 4th grade year-end celebration lunch at the end of the 2013 school year. Two families recently took part in the New Orleans mission trip.

We’ve also had social get-togethers at our neighborhood pool and at one family’s cabin. Our group keeps the GFC mission statement at the heart of its values. Through everything we strive to follow the six dynamics of Christian growth: Spiritually Vital, Biblically Grounded, Relationally Healthy, Personally Generous, Socially Responsible and Evangelistically Bold. We really don’t know where we would be without our close knit Grace “family.”

Danny & Mary Ellen Miller

2 comments (Add your own)

1. Tim Bowers, Staff Pastor wrote:
Mary Ellen thanks for sahring what God is doing in and through your Community Group. Praying that many others will join Community Groups this fall as a way of personally joining God in what he is and wants to do in and through the lives of GFCers!!

Thu, July 18, 2013 @ 1:37 PM

2. Mary Ellen Miller wrote:
Tim, thank you so much for your kind words. We have been so positively impacted through the small group experience at GFC!

Thu, July 18, 2013 @ 5:22 PM

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