Joining a small group is a leap of faith, a plunge into hearing the word more deeply. People are made for community; even those of us who do better in small doses of community find our hearts and minds more open to Holy Scripture when read with the viewpoints and ideas and just plain presence of others.
In a small group we have a leader to share research and wisdom with us, to encourage questions, and to lead us in prayer, all things we would miss if studying alone. But that’s just the beginning, for in a small group we listen to each other’s thoughts and questions. Hearing what the passage means to someone else gives perspective to our own interpretations and thus amplifies our understanding of God’s truth and grace. I often hear things expressed that I didn’t have the words for. I hear questions I can’t answer and realize again how much there is to learn. And for sure I often say things I didn’t know I knew! I express thoughts which never would have come to life without kind listeners.
All the while our care and appreciation grow deeper toward our fellow members. There is an intimacy to studying Scripture together, to feeling our way through the great questions. As we listen to the word through our own lives, we are more known to one another, grounded in forgiveness and understanding, which leads to friendly listening and a good bit of laughing at ourselves.
We pray for each other, and see the Lord’s hand in our lives. I have found all I have described to be true in
every group I have been with, from new ones to decades old, for the Holy Spirit makes it so!
– Robin Anderson
This summer we are working on forming new small groups. Please contact Fontaine Pope (Fontaine@CathedralAdvent.com, 205-443-8562) if you are interested in joining one.