CONNECT . DEEPEN . DEVOTION
In the summer of 2020, we did a survey to hear what the needs of the community were. As the church leadership, we have been using the principles of that survey to plan where we are putting our time and energy. While there was much that can be said, it has been helpful to boil it down to these three categories: connect, deepen, and devotion.
Go out of your way to contact someone
One of the biggest responses was the need to connect with others as our regular times of fellowship have been disrupted and other social events have been cancelled. This was reflected in comments towards feeling lonely, as well as deep appreciation for the connecting that has happened. We are trying to think of ways we can be connecting differently for different seasons. For example: during Christmas we encouraged the sending of postcards for others.
We encourage you to connect by calling others. Our encouragement is that each week you connect with one person or household in your district. However, don’t feel constrained by your district if you want to connect with others you miss in our church community!
Grow deeper in our relationship with others
In the midst of the comments there was a longing for deeper connections with others. In calling others and sending postcards there is the ability to go wide in our connecting, but we are also called to form strong relationships with others. This has been challenging to do in this season. Some people are deepening their relationships with those in their household or others who they have included in their circle. Others have committed to connecting with their small group.
We want to encourage joining our SidebySide ministry. This is a chance to get paired up with another person in the church to connect on a more regular basis. For more information, check out the SidebySide announcement.
Grow in our relationship with Jesus
The survey also highlighted a need for encouragement in spiritual growth. In the midst of the disruptions to our schedules and how we worship, it is also important that we have ways we are more intentional in how we are growing in our relationship with Jesus. We are looking into encouraging special ways you can be doing this. For instance, our Advent Project booklets were an initiative directed towards devotion in our households.
We encourage you to grow in the practice of listening to scripture. This can be done in reading it out loud to one another but for the tech savvy among us, there are ways of listening for free online or through an app (for instance, I am currently using YouVersion app as it has free downloads of multiple different translations). This means we have the opportunity to hear God’s word in the car, on a walk, or in your regular times of devotion.