Here we are in the middle of a busy week...again. Life keeps coming doesn't it?
I realize that many of the people reading this blog might not be a part of The Way Community just yet...so hear is a picture of a typical Way Community gathering for you:
A Way Community begins when at least two families have become part of The Way as Covenant Members and one is trained to be a Way Community Leaders. Our first meeting is at 5pm on Sunday's and we are about to add our second at 10:30am on Sunday's. Each Way Community begins with a time of food and fellowship. 10:30am will be Brunch and 5pm will be dinner. It is usually 'bring a dish' style but varies from week to week. Guests can come without ever feeling they needed to bring something.
Families arrive and park around the home. Some make arrangements to pick up first time guests. As folks gather to eat, prayer requests are shared and noted and several requests from prior times are checked on and updated. Someone offers a prayer and the meal is devoured around much conversation. It seems to feel more like a family holiday gathering than a traditional church meeting. As the meal winds down, some help clean up while others get the chairs set up and the tv/tech ready to go. Soon, everyone is gathered.
The leader starts the teaching of the week (soon we will begin a study of the Gospel of Mark in The Bible). It doesn't stop there. We grow together as we discuss and learn how to apply the topic of the study. Questions are asked. Points are brought out. Good teaching leads to good learning which leads to good living. The purpose of the Word is Life Transformation! During this time, one of the families has brought the younger children to the upstairs to help apply the message to them in an age-appropriate way including a little craft.
As the study time concludes, someone will lead in a few songs they would like to sing. Sometimes we sign Hymns (from copied songbooks) and sometimes we play YouTube videos and sing together. This musical worship is fun and exciting. In time we hope that folks will feel comfortable bringing their instruments and such...
Then we spend time looking forward to what is on the future calendar. We look for ways to serve together as we strive to make an impact on the city. The group pauses the video and discusses how they might get involved in this new opportunity. We might discuss the upcoming celebration service that will be a Christmas Celebration on December 21st at 4:30pm at the Holiday Inn in East Casper. These Celebration Gatherings are important to the Way and will be more important as we begin to meet in multiple Way Communities as it will be a great opportunity to get everyone together...to CELEBRATE.
The group now encourages one another in how they can continue to love their neighbors and reach others. They list some practical needs where they need help and several ask for the group to keep them accountable in particular areas where they are struggling. Lists are made and several folks make plans to get together one-on-one later in the week. This leads into a time of prayer for one-another.
As folks leave the home, they close in prayer. Many of them place an offering in the little Coffee Can on the table that is sent along to the sponsor church (Boyd Ave. Baptist) who graciously handles the finances during the early stages of the new church.
During the week, several blogs are posted by the pastor that are helpful for devotions and for further study of the topic discussed over the weekend.
That Thursday, the leader of one of the Communities has organized a special youth night where the husband will be spending time with the guys and the wife will be taking the girls out to dinner as they study the Word together.
Way Community doesn't end when we walk out the door...several one-on-one meetings happen along the way and several individuals also show up at to serving opportunities we learn about around Casper. Contacts are made. Relationships begin to build. People are invited to do life together. Way Communities will keep springing up as people become missionaries where they live, work and play! There are 22,000+ homes in the Casper area so there are plenty of neighbors to love!
Looking forward to seeing you Sunday night at 5pm at 1326 E. 24th St. We are enjoying Mexican food this week. Ole'!
Oh yes, since we are heading into winter season, we have prepared our entryway for you. There will be two shoe trays just inside the door for your footwear. There is also a little closet just inside the door that has hangers for your outerwear. Please use those that way the Kids Area and Eating Area are more open for everyone.
Tomorrow we will look at some of the benefits of living in Christian Community together.