After nearly year of expectation, Gathering 242 finally came to the day we’ve been anticipating (dreading?) We have to multiply.
If everyone shows up on the same night the group would have about 25 regular members. We call that a “church growth problem.” We
are too big. In the old days, we may have started talking about getting a building so we could bring in more people. That’s not the way The Summit Fellowships do things. When a group gets too big for the house it’s meeting in, the group will multiply and branch out into a new neighborhood, making room for more people in two places. That’s what is happening to G242 beginning on September 12, 2015. A new fellowship will be putting down roots in the Roseway neighborhood in Portland, at the Mayhew’s house.
So, how did it go on our last night? Here’s what we did:
- We had supper together, as always (potato bar this week!). During the meal we talked about the good news in the group and then took time to give a birthday blessing to Dave. That’s our tradition as a group. When a member of the “family” has a birthday, we go around the dinner table and tell them what we appreciate about them and how we see Jesus working in their lives. Then, we have their favorite desert—tonight, that was German’s chocolate cake.
- After we cleaned up the dishes and put tables away, we circled up for prayer and singing. Ben S. and Ben C. brought guitars and Tarrie H. had her violin. Ben C. even shared an original song.
- We shared the Lord’s Table differently this night. Instead of remembering with bread and cup at the supper table, we waited until later and set out the elements on a tray. While we sang, we each took some bread and juice to someone in the group and served them, praying for each other as we did.
- Finally, someone brought up the refugee crisis in Europe. Together, the group decided we needed to do something to help. We agreed to liquidate all of the funds the group had accumulated for ministry and service—$4800.00—to help with the need. We decided to send half to Medical Teams International, and half to Mercy Corps. Now, the group (both groups, since we’re multiplying) are flat broke! Praise God!
And that’s how we met for the last time as Gathering 242. Next week, September 12th, we’ll multiply into two groups, G242 and Roseway. We’ve got plans to keep the connections fresh, though. The ladies plan to meet once a month and there’s always The Vine* where we meet with all the other fellowships in the network.
* Next time, The Vine will be on October 4, 2015 at Worldview Center in Portland. This will be a special celebration. It is the 25th Anniversary of The Summit Fellowships house-church network!