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Doing Life Together

Staci Rue, Groups Pastor

If you have spent any time around the Desert Vineyard (and these days 'around' means something very different than it did a few months ago!), you have probably heard the four things we are all about as a church.  And if not, check them out here.  One of the four statements that we are moving towards is "doing life together" as a church.  It says in Romans 12:4-5, "For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others."  We actually need each other in order to do life and church well!

Doing life together with others has had a significant impact on my life.  Back in college, someone invited me to my first small group ever.  We were going to study the Bible, pray, and get to know each other.  I had grown up going to church, but I had never actually joined a small group.  Small groups always felt intimidating to me.  Being an introvert, the thought of voluntarily going to a small group with people I don’t know did not sound like my idea of fun.  But sitting alone in my room sounded even worse. Loneliness can be an odd motivator.  So I agreed to join.

Was it awkward the first time I went?  Not going to lie.  Yes.  No one really knew each other and, for whatever reason, I am just kind of the worst at small talk.  So yes, it was a little weird. But as I sit here, 20 years later, my heart is still so warmed thinking about that group.

The awkwardness was worth it.

Why?  Because it changed my life.  My relationship with God grew.  I made friends.  My mental health improved because I had people around me that I could talk to.  I just generally became a healthier person.

Fast forward to 2015 when my family moved to Lancaster.  I am now an adult with kids and a spouse and again in a new place far away from the people I know and love.  Again, loneliness sets in.  I am weary of trying to make new friends yet again.  Remember how I said I’m not good at small talk??  Yet, here I was feeling desperate again for some companionship.

I am happy to say, I found community here at the Desert Vineyard.  I joined a small group, I started serving, and slowly, the ache of loneliness started to fade.  God created us for relationships.  He created us for a relationship with him and with others.  And God met me through others at this church.

At this point I must take a moment to point out the obvious: doing life TOGETHER in a pandemic.  Hmm.  Sounds like an oxymoron!  But it is still possible and I would go even further and say it is needed now more than ever in our lives.  As most of our state has been shut down for months, many of us have grown weary of the distance from others.  Even us introverts are tired of the distance!  Missing our families, missing our friends, missing our church.  Seeing people and being seen does something to our hearts that we may not recognize until it's not there.

The great thing is you can still take a step towards community in this time.  There are 16 small groups going on RIGHT NOW that are ready for you to join in.  All of our groups are online and are an easy way to get to know some others at the Desert Vineyard.  You can leave your sweatpants on, get in your most comfortable chair and join a group.

We have a few recovery and mental health groups that are called Care Groups available if that’s a need in your life.  And we have a couple groups are that studying the Bible in a concentrated way.  We also have some Life Groups that are co-ed and discuss the weekend message.

Maybe you are feeling the pains of social distancing or maybe you are doing just fine.  Either way, the church still needs you and you still need others.  That has not changed.  Community can be found here.

Questions about Groups?
Contact Staci Rue at [email protected]

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