Wesley United Methodist Church
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

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.

Service
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.  New this year:  we are joining 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 Elders Ministry: 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.  
Church and Society: The violence, racial tensions, and turmoil in our society seem to be ever present.  Do you say to yourself, “I don’t want to be a passive onlooker, but what can I do?”  Come discuss ways of developing a Christian response.  Meets occasionally, as decided by the group.
Ministry to the Wider World: Education of our congregation and fundraising and support to various missions in the world.  Coordinated by the Missions Committee.  
 
 
Spiritual Development
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 welcome.   New session will begin September 21.  Daytime group meets Thursdays from 12:30-2:30 pm.
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 will resume on Sunday, September 17th, at 6:30 pm, meeting for one hour each week until Thanksgiving.  This fall we will be looking at some of the great stories and passages from the Old Testament, featuring such characters as Joseph, Moses and David.  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.  Last year we read: The Road to Character, Maisie Dobbs, God's Hotel, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, A Man called Ove, Plain Song, My Own Country, and Letters to a Young Scientist. 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. Our first meeting of the year will be on Monday, September. 18th and we will be discussing The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.
Retreat Planning Group:  Have you ever wondered how retreats are put together?  This group will teach you the nuts and bolts of retreat development with the goal being the planning of various short retreats and possibly a weekend retreat.  Come join the fun.
Youth Group: The youth of the church, grades 7 through 12, meet most weeks after the worship service on Sundays for a mixture of bible study, discussion, service and fellowship. 
 
Music
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!
Introduction to Music: Did you ever wonder what all that music notation means?  Did you ever wonder what in the world that director is talking about?  Would you like to learn to sight-read?  This group will meet three or four times and will teach the basics of music theory.  We will start right at the beginning.
 
 
Fellowship and Learning
Building relationships and learning new skills within a Christian context.
 
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. Bananagrams has also been a popular game, and we're always open to trying something new. The kids sometimes play their own games, or have fun just free playing.  If you're not familiar with these card games but would like to learn, we are very patient teachers...give it a try.
Relive a Vacation Group: Do you have fond memories of that favorite trip?  Just found your slides or digital images and would like to see them again?  Come share your trip with us.  Haven’t been on a trip, but like to explore the world anyway?  Come and enjoy other folks’ experiences.  No audio/visual or speaking experience necessary; we’ll help you out. Meets at 7 pm on the third Friday of the month.
 

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:
Church Council: Provide for a program of nurture, outreach and witness in Wesley UMC. Meets the fourth Tuesday of the month, 7 pm.