Did you know that we currently have 11 different small groups that meet weekly at Riviera UMC? We average nearly 70 people each week that are attending a small group! Small groups are so important in order to grow and deepen our faith. Sunday morning worship is important, but if you asked me which was more important - I would say small groups are more important.
“It cannot be that the people should grow in grace unless they give themselves to reading. A reading people will always be a knowing people.” - John Wesley
You can listen to Christian music now anytime on the radio or through streaming or purchased music. You can listen to thousands of sermons or podcasts (from pastors that are much more talented than I am!) right on the internet or from your phone any day of the week. Picking up a book on any topic you can imagine is as easy as ordering from Amazon and it will be shipped right to you within days. Yes, there are many ways we can grow in our faith, on our own, without Sunday morning or joining a group.
Sharing in Communion, rejoicing in baptisms, and the collective gathering of one another is important... however, it is in small groups where you get to dig deeper. You can ask questions, and discuss together how your faith and what you're learning is directly impacting your life. Small groups often serve together. They pray for one another. On Sunday it is easy to be a face in the crowd, and never allow ourselves to be truly known. While our faith lives are meant to be personal, they aren't meant to be private. In small groups, we connect and share our lives beyond just the smile and handshake.
Are you ready to take that next step in your faith?
On Sunday mornings after worship there are two children's small groups, a small group for youth, and a small group for parents, plus the nursery is available too. This makes Sunday mornings the perfect time for families to grow in their faith. These groups are always open to new people and visitors.
Some of our groups are not open to receiving new people, as they have developed really deep relationships with one another over many years, and wish for more confidentiality. The weekday groups that are currently open and inviting new people to join are as follows:
Monday Women's group at 12:00pm led by Ann Orchard - meets in the Conference Room
Monday nights at 7:00pm led by Reggie Shouse - meets in the Conference Room
Tuesday nights at 7:00pm led by David Holton - meets in the back of the Fellowship Hall
Wednesday mornings at 10:00am led by Sue Eidschun and Sandy Tinney - meets in the back of the Fellowship Hall
There is also a Men's "Bible Study Fellowship" (BSF) group that meets across the street at Faith Covenant every Monday at 6:30pm.
If you are interested in leading or starting a new group, please let me know. We also periodically have shorter studies offered by the pastor that are topical or related to the church calendar. The mission of the UMC is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Being a disciple means finding personal transformation in your life through your relationship with Jesus Christ, as well as helping others in their journey, all while serving and striving to make the world more reflective of the Kingdom of God.
What I mean by that is, if you don't feel like you necessarily need a small group in your life - someone may need you in theirs. We may have a children's class or a youth class that needs your leadership. There is someone that needs you to listen and pray for them. Please be in prayer about how God is leading you to connect with others at Riviera UMC.
Grace and Peace,