One of the ways forward for worshipping communities is to meet in small groups outside of the regular Sunday worship – or indeed where and when there is no such provision, in a remote location for example. Bible study groups, prayer groups, social action groups – they can have a wide range of purposes. One of the benefits is the opportunity to share thoughts and experiences at a more personal level than is possible at the standard church service.
Given the small size of many of our congregations, you might think there is less need for it because folk can look out for each other, share ideas over coffee etc. However, it can be difficult to gather a viable group with the same interest from a small congregation. One of the ways we’ve handled that is to run cross-diocesan study and discussion groups that have taken place by phone conference with a couple of face-to-face meetings in the year. At its height, 7 congregations were represented.
If you have in mind to get together with fellow Christians for reflection or study, you’ll find some interesting material on the Methodist website www.meetpraylove.co.uk. It is an ecumenical initiative and as it happens the short video clip on the Home page features an Episcopalian.