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Greetings from the Showers' Small Group

Pastor Ed recently said that as Gateway gets bigger, we need to become smaller -- Small Groups are part of our DNA.  So I'd like to do a series of features about the Small Groups of our church, saying hello to the rest of the family, inviting others to jump in and join us, and let others know how God is working in our group.

The easiest group to start with is the one I attend.  But I hope that someone from each other small group will answer the same questions!

Who is in your group?  Rob and Evie Showers lead this Small Group.  This picture was taken at our Christmas party.  Other members are Renée and Erik Saunders, me (Sondy Eklund), George and Nancy Dennis, and Debbie and Ray Schmidt.

When and where do you meet?  Sunday after church, in South Riding at Sondy's house.  Because of distance and schedule issues, it works well for us to put our activities on the same day as the church service.  We each grab some food and meet at my house to eat it.  They used the church office before I joined, but I was happy they were able to take advantage of my nice close-to-Gateway location.

What about child care?  We all have children, but they are all old enough to not need child care, so that's not available with this group.

What are you studying?  We are currently slowly going through John Eldredge's book and workbook, Waking the Dead

For me, this has been a powerful experience.  As an example, I've been dealing with not getting a job I applied for which I thought I was uniquely suited for.  This book looks at who God created you to be, so helped me get through that experience with my self-identity intact.

What are some answers to prayer your group has seen recently?

A healthy grandbaby born safely after a difficult pregnancy

Biopsy results that came back benign

Business needs met

Two different young adult daughters who got successfully settled into a major city -- Boston and New York City

How has being in this group touched your life?

Ray Schmidt has a nice answer for this and speaks for the group: "For me, the smallness of the group has allowed us all to open our hearts and lives to each other. Seeing God work to "peel back the onion," so to speak, in each other's lives has been beautiful and breathtaking. A weekly reminder that our hearts do matter to God and that he is in it for the long run to renew and restore each of us, little by little and day by day, to be the men and women he created us to be."



Posted by Sondy Eklund with

Snowy Sunday

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Greetings on a Snowy Sunday!

This is normally when we'd post a Sermon Response, but there was no sermon today, due to snowy weather and icy roads.

However, this is a good time to reflect on Pastor Ed's Sermon last week.  He pointed out three themes that need to guide the life of our church going forward:

  1. As we grow larger, we must grow smaller.  Small Groups are part of the DNA of our church.
  2. We will be a community that gives.  That means our time and money and our facility.
  3. We will draw people in for the purpose of sending people out.  We can't just perfect our product and expect people to come to us.

And then he gave two observations:

  1. We've already done this.  This isn't new.  We need to get better at it, thinking of ourselves as a company of missionaries.
  2. We need to get ready! 

The sermon got me excited about the future of Gateway. After the service (at my small group meeting), Rob Showers pointed out that all this is in the context of Life Transformation.

Did the sermon affect my life this week?  Well, it made me think.  In what ways can I give to Gateway?  For me personally, one answer is to start giving my time to writing this blog.  One thing I like about this way of contributing is that it's suited to me, an introvert and a writer at heart.  We don't all have to give in the same ways.

This is where we're interested in comments.  Do you have some additional thoughts or responses to last week's sermon?

And I have an extra question this week:  What did you do on a snowy Sunday morning when church didn't meet?  I ended up taking a lovely long walk through the snow -- and made snow angels.  My plan was to be more spiritual and have an extra-long quiet time, but being out in God's creation all covered with loveliness definitely uplifted my spirit.

How about you?  How did you celebrate this Snowy Sunday?