This Come Together Group Really Came Together
In the early Fall of this year, Donna Simmons invited us, Jeff and Brittany Rushing, to lead a Come Together group for a six-week time period. We discussed the opportunity and prayed for God’s wisdom in accepting the invitation to lead. We felt that God was answering a very specific prayer through this invitation; an answer to a prayer that God would provide us with an opportunity to serve God in a new way, stretching us outside of our comfort zone and challenging us to grow in our faith. After going through the COVID-19 pandemic, we both felt somewhat isolated and withdrawn from the community of believers. We both work in healthcare and experienced the stress and changes in our careers and daily lives as a result of the pandemic. We spent much of 2020 worshipping at home with online services. By accepting the invitation to facilitate sermon discussion with a group of fellow believers, we felt a renewed hope. We were longing for a sense of purpose, togetherness, and direction for service.
Our group began meeting in August and during those meetings, we bonded over funny stories (like wearing the same pair of socks for days while stuck in the Chicago airport). We also shared details from our lives in getting to know one another. Pretty soon the six weeks was drawing to a close, but we all agreed to continue on as a GFC community group. Not only did the adults experience laughs (and the occasional tears), but our children were bonding, too. Between the four couples, there are nine children ranging in ages from infancy to preteen. Despite the age differences, the children verbalized their hopes for the group to continue beyond the six weeks so that they would be able to maintain their newfound friendships.
We believe that our group has been successful because each group member has a strong desire to love others and to grow in a community setting. We know that each and every group member is uniquely gifted and presents with his/her own life experiences. We believe that our differences make us more beautiful when we are put together as a group. We are learning together and growing in our individual faith because of the support we are able to offer one another. We pray for each other’s needs and desires. We encourage one another to remain in God’s word and to study the weekly sermon. Additionally, our group shares in the hope that we will utilize our group to serve others just as Jesus humbly served.
We are thankful for the support of GFC in making our meetings possible. The church has provided us with a meeting place, pastoral support, staff support, childcare worker contacts, and materials to facilitate further sermon reflection. All in all, the church has made it possible for our group to be successful and we will continue to pray for God to use us together to reach the community according to His purposes.
Jeff & Brittany Rushing
pictured with their children Marlee, Colt, and Bentley