Because I need to meet Jesus between Sundays ...
Epiphany is a church OF Small Groups. They are the fundamental way that we forge relationships through a shared and intentional encounter with the scriptures; support, care, and encourage each other, and grow together as followers of Jesus.
A typical Small Group gathers monthly for two hours in someone's home. Each gathering is quite lively and includes intentional biblical engagement, fellowship, and prayer. An Epiphany Small Group actually replicates how the infant church first began to gather as "house churches."
Because we are convinced that participation in a Small Group is an integral part of developing life-giving relationships, we strongly encourage everyone who worships at Epiphany to be part of a Small Group. To learn more about the current times and locations of our Small Group gatherings and to find out how you can become engaged in small groups ministry, contact Susan Ditore.
Some Frequently Asked Questions:
How large are the groups?
Is this for adults only?
What can I expect at a typical meeting?
How are small groups organized?
Who are the leaders?
Aren't small groups just another Bible study?
Is someone going to force me to share or push their beliefs on me?
But what if I try a Small Group and don't like it?
OK, count me in! What's next?
How large are the groups? A group usually functions best when there are eight to twelve individuals. Once the group grows beyond 12, it becomes difficult to manage (especially to find gathering times for 100% participation).
Is this for adults only? As a general rule, small groups are a time for adults to meet and interact with other adults. However, some groups employ a single babysitter for their children or, if childcare isn't needed, the children may gather in an alternate location in the home and they end up forming their own group. Each group can make this decision for itself.
What can I expect at a typical meeting? A small group gathering usually lasts around two hours. A typical outline might be: 30 minutes of hospitality with beverage and snacks; 15 minutes of catching up with each other or an "ice-breaker"; 45 minutes engaged with the scriptures, with discussion material provided by Pastor Rick based on the upcoming Sunday's Gospel text; 15 minutes asking for prayer concerns; closing prayer followed by additional fellowship.
How are small groups organized? We try to keep groups as heterogenous as possible. There may be singles, young marrieds, empty-nesters, and seniors all in the same group. Members may be from Epiphany or the group leader may invite some of their neighbors. The goal is to forge intentional Christ-centered relationships.
Who are the leaders? Leaders are selected from Epiphany and represent various geographic locations and demographics. All leaders undergo empowerment guidance to help them become effective group leaders.
Aren't Small Groups just another Bible study? No, you don't just drop in and out of a Small Group. Because small group members make a covenant with each other to be present at all the gatherings, a special level of trust and care develops over time. We hope that members of Small Groups meet Jesus in the faces of each other.
Is someone going to force me to share or push their beliefs on me? Absolutely not! Small Groups are a safe place to share the ups and downs of our Christian journey -- whatever they may be. You are invited to share as much or as little as you like -- and no more.
But what if I try a Small Group and don't like it? You can always drop out of a Small Group that is not a good fit for you. However, we strongly encourage you to try three or four gatherings before deciding whether to commit to any particular group.
Count me in! What's the next step? Let us know you're interested! Complete an interest form OR contact Susan Ditore, Mission Support, by email at susan,firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also indicate your interest on the "Blue Slip" distributed with the bulletin on Sunday mornings. Just let us know and someone will be in touch soon.