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Augustine and Community

Augustine used a phrase, “Healing the eyes of the heart.” By that he meant that God restores our way of seeing things properly. While God (Jesus Christ) is the healer, who is the mediator? Augustine sees the mediator as the Christian community. The Christian community is critical in reinforcing this healing process through its proclamation (of the Word) and its sacramental ministries. These both teach and live out this corrected way of seeing things.

The point is we as Christians live in a world that sees things improperly. But when we come to our Christian communities, we are being renewed in our thinking (hey, isn’t there a Bible passage somewhere to that effect?). And the more time we spend in those communities, the more renewed we become and the better we are able to counteract the destructive ways the world sees and lives.

I’ll let you figure out why and how this applies to small groups (or is it the other way around?). Cheers!

Sign-ups are Over

We just completed sign-ups for the Winter 2015 session. But if you delayed and are now regretting it, let me assure you it’s not too late to get involved in a group. We’d still be happy to have you join a group. Reach out to me, Pastor Mike, at 307.742.0153, or email me.

Small Group Sign-ups

Small group sign-ups are back on. If you’ve been sitting on the fence wanting to try it out but afraid to jump in, now would be a great time to get off the fence. You can try it for this quarter (12 weeks); just a 12-week commitment. If you don’t like it, you can bow out of the group easily. If you do like it, which I think is what most likely will happen, stay in the group.

New Beginnings

I just completed a wedding up in Juneau, AK. It was a wonderful couple and 2 wonderful families to work with–a great experience. During the premarital counseling one of the things I wanted to emphasize was how critical it was that they find fellowship and others to encourage them and their relationship.

My own experience bears this out, as does a large body of research. We talk about guarding our relationships, “fireproofing” them, and all kinds of safeguards. One of the best tested, most reliable since the dawn of time is relationship with others.

Small groups are the perfect vehicle for building those.

Year End Blues

This is the time of year that small group attendance suffers. Schedules get busier, people seem to get sicker, weather even factors in. Group can be packed one week and barely large enough for a game of solitaire the next week. If you lead a group don’t get discouraged; don’t start wondering if there’s something wrong with you (or your group members). Just bear in mind that it’s a really common phenomenon and it happens to most groups. Things will probably return to normal after the holiday rush is over.

We Need Others–An Analogy from C.S. Lewis

I’m reading a book about emotional maturity. In it he quotes from C.S. Lewis’ “Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” about how Eustace wants to get in a beautiful pool but he cannot. It goes on that he must remove clothes, and he’s able to go 3 layers deep on his own but that’s it. He needs help from Aslan for the rest, and it’s painful. Of course, Aslan represents Christ.

Without in any way diminishing the role of Christ and his ability to do that if he so chooses, I also note how Christ has given us community. Sometimes, maybe even most often, the way Christ works is through his body of believers, the church. How often do we wait for some supernatural “stripping away” of pieces of our life we don’t need or want (usually assuming the stripping away will be painless, of course)? How often are we stalling when what we need is right in front of us, when Christ has given us each other?

Just my thoughts.

A lighter look at small group leader qualifications!!