- Faith In Action
- Faith Formation
Small Group Ministry
People often long for a place of belonging where they can form in-depth relationships and share their personal stories. That’s hard to do in a worship service of 120 people or in the typical committee meeting with a tight agenda. We also long for a place where we can explore questions of faith, discuss spiritual lives, and deepen our understanding. People accomplish this by coming together in small Core Groups and Mission Groups.
Core Groups exist to provide a place of belonging within the wider PSUMC community. They are groups where relationships with one another and God can be deepened. They consist of 4 to 12 adults meeting 2 to 3 times a month, depending on the will of the group. During the meetings people share their personal stories, struggles and joys, and questions of faith. They also study the Bible, explore various life/faith topics, and share in informal prayer with one another. Each group develops its own distinctive flavor. Our hope is that these groups will strengthen both individuals and the congregation, so that we are better able to be of loving service to the world.
Some small groups, called Mission Groups, provide all the functions of a Core Group, with the addition of working together on a particular ministry, project, or issue. A typical meeting of a Mission Group provides space for personal sharing, Bible study, prayer and will also explore how this particular group wishes to plan and oversee specific ministries in the world around us. For example, a group could develop around helping PSUMC become a more environmentally friendly place, provide care for women in abusive situations, work intensively on peace issues, or provide clothing for homeless people. The possibilities are endless as we are called to minister to the world in different ways.
A typical Core or Mission group:
• Provides a small community where we are known and loved at a deeper level
• Creates a safe space where we feel comfortable sharing our struggles, joys, frustrations, anger and longings. The group will be the primary community of care for us within the larger congregation
• Shows respect to and honors the confidentiality of group members
• Deepens spiritual lives through Bible Study, spiritual exercises and study, with members being mutually accountable to individual spiritual journeys
• Helps us to extend ourselves where the world is in need, discerning how our gifts and resources speak to the tasks God has placed before us
•Works on the specific mission that the group is formed around (Mission Groups)
PSUMC now has several active small groups. One Core Group began three years ago, and one of its members was called to start and lead a Mission Group focused on the arts. Two of its members helped form a Mission Group focused on music ministry. Two other Core Groups grew out of an Inward/Outward Journey class, with their members called to share and minister to each other. The process continues as those dedicated to a particular cause or issue gather in discernment. Group leaders have developed small group leadership skills and include Rev. Miller and several members of the PSUMC community.
If there is an issue or project to which you feel called, you can speak with the Adult Education/Spiritual Formation Committee Chair, Kathryn Dickinson, or with the Pastor of PSUMC, Rev. Herbert Miller, who will help you find others who share your call to ministry and form a group and will provide training for leaders and resource materials.