“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”  –  Acts 2:42-47

At Emmanuel, we value genuine relationships, hospitality, and growth. As a local expression of the body of Christ, we are called to be in community together. We worship together, we feast together in times of plenty, we rejoice together in joyful celebration, and we mourn together in loss and grief, and lift each other up when we fall. All that we encounter in life is to be experienced through the networks of relationships we cultivate within the church. These networks of relationships have been instituted by God to be the primary means by which people come to faith both within and from outside. And at Emmanuel, we believe that we are not a church with small groups; we are a church of small groups. Christian growth, evangelism, and discipleship – our sanctification – all take place within these smaller networks of relationships. We have been saved by faith in Jesus Christ, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we are moved and shaped into more Christ-likeness; but we each need the grace of other believers in our lives to grow in holiness, and to become more like our Lord.

With the beginning of another school year, we will be starting discipleship groups again to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. However, COVID-19 still stands in the forefront of our planning. We must be careful and conscious for those who are vulnerable in our congregation. Even with the coronavirus affecting our daily realities, and public gathering restrictions still present, we are still commanded by the Lord to continue living in community, not neglecting to meet together. Our challenge for this season has become how to be in community while still caring for those most in jeopardy from the virus.

Opportunities for Fellowship and Community

 So, with that said, we are rolling out smaller gathering groups we’re calling triads for the coming year. We will be sending a short survey out next week which will ask for your response to a couple questions. The goal of this survey will be to compile lists of church members who desire to:

  • Meet together for fellowship in someone’s home,
  • Meet outdoors for fellowship and discussion, or
  • Meet via Zoom for fellowship and sermon discussion

Sign up for Triads.

Please select all answers that apply to your situation. If you are willing to meet in a home for a meal, we ask that you also let us know if you’re willing to host, and/or facilitate the discussion. Triads would meet together at least once a month from September through November, but are able to meet more often depending on members’ comfort level.

Note: EPC triads are not meant to replace discipleship! EPC Triads are meant to facilitate fellowship among smaller numbers of family units during social distancing restrictions.

As the Lord’s church, called by him to make disciples of the nations, empowered by the Holy Spirit to love and serve one another, and commanded to continue meeting with each other, we must take every opportunity to share fellowship. Whether that is in-person with a meal, in-person outdoors, or via Zoom, we hope you will prayerfully consider being a part of these smaller gathering groups over the next year. We believe that he Lord will bless your involvement, however you choose to participate.

If you’re interested and have more questions, please contact me. I would be happy to talk on the phone, or meet you for coffee to discuss. Let us go forth to serve the risen Christ!

Opportunities for Discipleship

 Altsman Group 

– Meeting: 1st and 3rd Sunday evenings of the month, beginning on 9/20.
– Time: 6:00 PM, Zoom.
– Curriculum: Devotional Classics, A Renovare Resource for Spiritual Renewal, eds. Foster, Smith
– Contact: Joel Altsman

Connell Group

– Meeting: Wednesday evenings, beginning 9/9.
– Time: 7:30 PM
– Curriculum: The Gospel-Centered Parent, Miller, Harrell
– Contact: Tommy Connell

High School Girls

– Meeting: Sunday afternoons, already meeting
– Time: 2-3:45 PM
– Curriculum: Get Your Story Straight, Hatton
– Contact: Susan Ellis

Men’s Ministry

– Meeting: Saturday mornings, ongoing
– Time: 8 AM
– Curriculum: fellowship
– Contact: J. D. Stewart

Ward Group

– Meeting: Sunday evenings, beginning 9/6.
– Time: 7:30 PM, Zoom.
– Curriculum: The Beautiful Community, Ince
– Contact: Greg Ward

Women’s Ministry

– Meeting: Wednesday mornings, beginning 9/3.
– Time: 9 AM, Zoom.
– Curriculum: Psalms
– Contact: Meghan Anderson

Youth Group

– Meeting: Sunday afternoons, beginning 8/30.
– Time: 4:30 PM, Zoom.
– Curriculum: Ruth, Esther
– Contact: Adam Lopez



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