Wesley United Methodist Church
Thursday, August 22, 2019

Small Group Ministries

 Remember...Jesus started the Church with a small group.

John Wesley began the Methodist movement with small groups.

A spiritually-growing, relationship building experience awaits you in a Small Group @ Wesley Church.
Why small groups?  Because Christian life was not intended to be lived alone.  We were formed by God to be in connection; with God and with one another.   It is in that spirit that Wesley offers small groups starting each September.
Even though we each must take our own path, we need the support and strengthening of others to become a more deeply committed Christians.  It is in small groups where persons receive encouragement and challenge to deepen their faith and to live out the calling of all believers to be disciples in the world. 
Becoming a disciple takes work. It isn’t something that just happens by spending time in worship or through the wishing of well-intended, good and decent folk.  “Faith without works is dead,” says the Apostle Paul.  Small Groups provide a foundational way for that work to occur.  Without committed disciples, the church cannot fulfill the purpose of being the living Body of Christ for the transformation of the world that Jesus intended. 

Sign up online or fill out a form at the church.

Become Christ’s hands in the world.
Feed My Sheep: Ministry to the hungry in the local area.  Monthly volunteering at the Not Bread Alone soup kitchen in Amherst, providing food and friendship for those who are lonely, homeless, or disenfranchised.  Monthly food collection to support the Amherst Survival Center.  Seasonal gleaning of the fields.  Come and help as you can. 
Prison Ministry: Existing group which visits the women’s prison 4-5 times a year and provides a Sunday afternoon worship service, music, Bible lesson/discussion and personal sharing.  This past year, we joined a local church effort to provide "release packs" to woman leaving prison, personal items greatly needed and often expensive for someone being released, plus personal notes of encouragement. 
Hadley Community Outreach: Wesley youth and adults work with UMass students to provide assistance to elders in need in the local community.  Includes spring and fall sessions of physical work (yard work, painting, small house repairs, etc.) to help out some folks who aren’t as strong as they once were.  Also includes the planning and coordination to make it happen.  
Spiritual Development & Fellowship
Deepen your relationship with God and learn more about our Christian faith.
The Daytime Spiritual Journey Group gathers weekly for in-depth discussion and prayer.  Discussion centers around a chosen spiritual growth book.  A different book is chosen every 8-12 weeks.  Examples of books we have studied are “The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus” by Peter Gomes, “Spirit and Flesh, Life in a Fundamentalist Baptist Church” by  James M. Ault, and “Mountains Beyond Mountains” by Tracy Kidder.  All are welcome.  
Prayer Group: The Prayer Group shares in a daily devotion and lifts in prayers the joys and concerns of the church, the community and the world.  Meets Thursday mornings at  8:30 AM.
Bible Study: Wesley’s Sunday evening Bible Study meets on Sundays at 6:30 pm, meeting for one hour each week in the fall and spring.  This fall, we will be looking as some of the Wisdom books (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Job).  We welcome anyone, from Bible study veterans to those who have no knowledge of the Bible.  Also, you don't need to have attended in the past.  So join us as we seek to illuminate our spiritual journeys that we might live more meaningful lives.
Men’s Evening Prayer Group: Will share devotion and study around a chosen book and will lift in prayer the joys and concerns of the group members.  Meetings will be held from 7:30-8:30 Wednesday evenings at the Ryan home in Amherst.  
Healing Ministry: This small group will study principles of Christian healing, including the role of the Holy Spirit, with the goal of strengthening our existing healing prayer ministry.  We will study from the book "Anointed to Heal".  If you are interested in Christian healing, but don't' know where to begin or are afraid to start, this group may be for you.
Wesley Book Club: We meet monthly to talk about books that delve into the intersection of faith and life. If you love to read, this is the group for you! All are welcome whether you can come to every meeting or to just one or two. We have been meeting on the third Monday of the month. 
Cards and Games: This group meets once a month, usually the second Friday, from 7 to 9 p.m. We are a laid back and family friendly group that enjoys fellowship while playing games. Every time we meet is a little different, depending on the number of adults and children gathered and their interests. Card games typically played are euchre, cribbage, and 500, although we have also tried out many new games that folks have introduced to the group.
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!
Sanctuary Choir: Meets Wednesday evenings at 7:00 and prepares music and sings at nearly every Sunday Morning Worship. Not only are we a musical group, but also a prayer and spiritual growth group.   If you love to sing, come join the fun.
Omega Hand Bell Choir:  Rehearses Sunday evening and plays for Sunday service once a month.  No experience necessary. Jr High through adult welcome.  It helps if you can read music, but that is not necessary. 
Praise Group: If you enjoy playing or singing contemporary worship music, this is just the place for you. We provide special music for Sunday service once a month, and we welcome instrumentalists (of all kinds) and singers of all ages.  Praise group gathers most Monday evenings at 6 pm in the sanctuary to rehearse, but we are discussing a possible shifting this schedule if it will allow more people to participate.
Children’s Choir: Open to children ages 4 and up.  Rehearsal time Saturdays at 10 am.  Sing for church once a month.  Come join the fun!
Service Opportunities
Each of these opportunities are available at your schedule – generally, you will be asked once every 4-8 weeks or so.

Greeter:  Provide a warm welcome to all who come to the worship service. 
Acolyte:  Children 4th grade and up light the candles during the worship service. 
Flowers:  Honor God with offerings from your garden by creating flower arrangements for the altar. 
Liturgist:  Lead the congregation in prayer and read the scripture passage for the day. 
Gardening:  Beautify the grounds of Wesley.  Meet a few times per year to plan, maintain & improve the church gardens. 
Hospitality:  Bring snacks and make coffee for fellowship time after the Sunday worship service. 
Usher:  Collect the offering and present to the altar. 
Counter:  Tally weekly offerings for deposit to the bank. 
Sunday School Teacher or Youth Group Leader:  Lead children and youth in exploring their faith. 
Sunday School or Youth Group Assistant:  Help out in the classroom. 

Church Committees
Please come to any of the meetings to learn more about the functioning of the church, even if you’re not officially on the committee.
Worship: Plan the worship life of Wesley, including all Sunday and special worship services. Meets the third Monday of the month at 5:15 pm.
Mission: Support to our local and worldwide community.
Education: Plan and provide the Christian education of our youth from pre-K through high school. Meets after the Worship Committee, the third Monday of the month at 6:30 pm.
Hospitality: Provide for coffee hour after worship services plus a few special events throughout the year.
Finance: Plan and administer the stewardship of church financial resources and establish financial policies.
Trustees: Care, supervision and oversight of the buildings and properties owned by Wesley Church.
Staff Parish Relationship Council (SPRC): Encourage, strengthen, nurture, support and respect the pastor and staff and their families, communicate with the congregation and the charge conference regarding personnel matters.
Communications: Organize the communications and outreach support including website, Facebook, newsletter, email.
Nominations and Leadership Development: Reflect on the mission, identify spiritual gifts, recommend, recruit, nurture and support spiritual leaders.
Membership Care and Outreach: Welcoming, supporting and maintaining current members, new members, and visitors.
Safe Sanctuary:  Develop and oversee programs to reduce the risk of abuse in the church.
Church Council: Provide for a program of nurture, outreach and witness in Wesley UMC. Meets the fourth Tuesday of the month, 7 pm.