By Rev. Charlie Dupree
Lately, I’ve been thinking about the phrase, “Life happens.” Especially in this season of pandemic, social unrest, and isolation, life is, indeed, happening! It’s happening all around us in strange and new ways. This is why we developed a small group ministry at St. Paul’s called “Life Groups.” It’s a way for the St. Paul’s community to come together and talk about, well . . . life.
Life Groups are a collaborative effort among three ministry areas at St. Paul’s: Faith Formation, Parish Life, and Pastoral Care. The collaborative spirit of Life Groups represents the very fact that our lives are a collection of many things: professional life, family life, financial life, spiritual life, a life of study, a life with friends, a life with health concerns, a life with . . . you get the point.
Friends, we’re carrying a lot. It can be hard to carry everything alone, which is why the Christian life involves community. We’re called to walk alongside one another. We’re called to be with each other. This is why we have developed Life Groups. Life Groups are groups of 6-8 persons led by lay co-facilitators meeting weekly to share stories, check-in with one another, reflect on Scripture, and pray together. It’s a new opportunity for us to grow in faith as we deepen our relationships with each other, see the connection of Scripture to our lives, and pray with and for each other.
I realize that it’s frustrating not being able to come to the church. We want to hang out with Carter in the office. We want to hold meetings in the Library. We want to worship in our sanctuary. We want to hang out together at Coffee Hour. In general, we just want to “be” together again. But for now, our Bishop, in a spirit of safety, calls us to work remotely, keep our buildings closed to the public, and refrain from indoor, in-person worship. I’m not sure how long this will continue.
In the meantime, life continues to happen and we want you to feel supported and connected. I hope you’ll consider being a part of the Life Group experience as we continue to walk together on this journey of growing in our knowledge of self, God, Jesus, and neighbor.
Life Groups are offered for eight-week cycles, beginning in late September. Life groups are open to anyone and everyone. You do not need to be a “member” of the St. Paul’s community To register, click HERE.
Rector, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Pronouns: he, him, his
P.S. Just a reminder – This Sunday, September 6 (Labor Day Weekend), we will gather online, as the Diocese of Virginia, for a worship service led by our bishops. Bishop Goff will preach and Bishops Brooke-Davidson and Taylor will be there, too. St. Paul’s will link to the Service on our Sunday Morning Worship web page or you can find the service on the Diocesan website. Please note – there will be no Virtual Coffee Hour this Sunday.