ChristCare Groups — Circles of Care with Christ at the Center
Christ is central to ChristCare Groups.
ChristCare Group members meet Jesus in their fellow group members, in the Scriptures, in their times of prayer and worship, and through their missional service. With Jesus at the center of all that the gr oup is and does, members grow as Jesus’ disciples, increasing in faith, joy, and love.
ChristCare Groups are circles of care.
ChristCare Group members give and receive Christ’s care to one another. When you are in a ChristCare Group, you never have to go through a tough time alone, be it a major crisis or just the bumps and bruises of daily life. Your fellow group members are always there for you.
When ChristCare Groups meet, they do four kinds of activities:
- community building and care;
- Biblical Equipping;
- prayer and worship; and
- missional service.
The Holy Spirit works through these activities to make ChristCare Groups into “Circles of Care with Christ at the Center.”
our good reasons why ChristCare Groups are necessary for our congregation to be all God calls us to be . . .
Reason 1: Christ’s Own Example
Much of Jesus’ most significant ministry took place with the small group he formed at the beginning of his ministry–the twelve disciples. In this intimate setting Jesus shared the truth and wisdom of God, teaching them about prayer, holy living, faith, hope, and love.
Reason 2: Building Community
In a world where people often feel isolated, there is a strong need to have a place “where everbody knows your name.” In ChristCare Groups, people feel loved and accepted and can share when they are happy or hurting.
Reason 3: The Renewal of the Church
Whenever the church has experienced renewal, small groups have played a key role. Groups do things that open members to the Spirit’s work: prayer and praise, Bible study, equipping for ministry and witness and service in daily life.
Reason 4: The Growth of the Church
The early church multiplied by involving people in groups that met regularly for worship, mutual support, and growing together in faith. Today ChristCare Groups help our church grow by assimilating new members, evangelism, preventing inactivity, and increasing attendance at Sunday worship.
One of the many helping ministries we have at Central is our Stephen Minister Program. This is a one-on-one Christian care giving ministry. The Stephen Series is designed to train lay people in one-to-one caregiving. After receiving 50 hours of training, Stephen Ministers are linked with individuals (Care Receivers) who are experiencing a wide variety of life problems or challenges, such as: hospitalization, bereavement, terminal illness, spiritual crisis, unemployment, divorce, disability, victims of crime and many more. Stephen Ministers become caring, Christian friends to their Care Receivers–listening to them, praying with them, simply being with them.
Twenty members of Central continue to be active participants in this vital ministry to our church family by visiting members in nursing homes and being linked, one on one, in caring ministry to members who are experiencing difficult moments in their lives. Stephen Ministers have also made hospital calls one day a week, since early last year, in support of our ministerial staff and meet monthly to continue their in listening skills, use of Christian resources, and ways of ministering to persons who are facing major health problems, the loss of a loved one, or loneliness.
Lucy Acheson, commissioned as a Stephen Minister at Central in 1993, says, “Stephen Ministry training has given me so much insight into how I can minister to my fellow church members. I have become much better at recognizing emotional and spiritual needs and listening to concerns. I have found that church members in crisis just need a caring person to be with them and listen to them. I’ve found Stephen Ministry to be an opportunity for me to serve the Lord by acting as His ears, eyes, and hands.”
We currently have over 20 persons at Central who have completed the training and are helping serve others and God in this significant way. Would you or someone you know benefit from a relationship with a Stephen Minister? A new training class for Stephen Ministers will begin in the fall. If you would like more information about this exciting ministry or would like to be linked with a Stephen Minister, please speak with Gretchen.
Adult Small Group Opportunities
There are many opportunities for adults to join in fellowship, service, leadership and spiritual growth through many small group activities.
Our “Faithful Planning” study of the congregation found that many members have grown spiritually, developed life-long friendships, and enjoyed serving others through small group participation. For a full, rich Christian life, it’s hard to beat small group fellowship. Join one!
Click Here to view and download the latest version of our brochure, “Opportunities at Central for Small Groups, Fellowship, Study and Mission” in pdf format.
ChristCare Groups meets every week for ten week periods. The goal of this group is to share Christian life, to study the Bible and to provide support to each other through fellowship. Watch for announcements of new ChristCare groups being formed and join one. Call Rev. Gretchen Barron 428-4336 or email her for more information.
Christian Action & Community Service Committee meets every other month to plan activities. The goal of this group is to involve the church in social action within the community. This summer this group sponsored and organized a successful series of “neighborhood play days” at the church for the immediate church neighborhood citizens. Currently, this committee is active with DOVE, Habitat for Humanity, Mother-to-Mother, and other community programs.
Christian Education Committee meets once a month to plan and coordinate adult education programs including Sunday school classes for youth. Special adult education opportunities are sponsored every Spring. Vacation Bible School is also coordinated by this large group. If you would like to help plan and develop educational programs, this is the group to join.
Deacons serve communion and collect the offering during worship services each Sunday and help serve communion to shut-ins three or four times a year. Deacons are nominated and elected by the congregation to serve in teams for three year terms.
Disciples Men is a men’s fellowship, service and study group with members ranging in age from the 20s to 50s. Begun in 1988, this group hosts an eight week breakfast Bible study in the Fall and Spring. It also sponsors special men’s events and programs.
Dorcas Disciples is a women’s fellowship, service and study group with members ranging in age from the 40s to 70s. Begun in 1975, this group meets ten months of the year on the fourth Tuesday of each month.
Elderberries is a large fellowship of women who meet on the third Wednesday of each month for a fellowship meal and program activities. Begun in 1988, this group includes members ranging in age from the 50s to 90s. The FunTimers is a group of the same age that meet ocassionally for day trips and meals together.
Elders serve as lay leaders of the spiritual life of the church, providing devotions and prayers at the Lord’s Table each Sunday during the worship services. They receive the collection and serve communion to shut-ins every other month. The elders meet for breakfast once a month for devotions, prayer, plans and discussions about the spiritual life of the church. Most elders serve as members or leaders of another group in the church. Elders are nominated and elected by the congregation to serve for three year terms.
If you have prayer needs, who ‘ya going to call? The elders have a prayer chain which can be activated by e-mailing or calling the church office.
Click Here to view scenes from the March 2000 Area Elders Retreat, “Elders on the Road to Church Vitality”
Evangelism Committee seeks ways to bring people to salvation, inviting them to visit and become members of our church community. If you would like to help spread the Good News and help bring people into the Christian Church, this is the committee for you.
Fellowship Committee hosts meals, gatherings and refreshments for congregation fellowship activities. This fun, action oriented group meets every other month to plan events. Click here to view photos from the All Church Picnic, just one of the many fellowship events hosted by the Fellowship Committee.
Operations Committee assists with the management and development of office equipment, ongoing administrative costs, and related church needs. Most recently this group has installed a new local area network of computers for church staff.
Personnel Committee provides oversight of all paid church staff and leads efforts to search for and call staff to join our ministerial team. Hearing days are provided so that each staff member can discuss concerns and needs in full confidentiality with the personnel committee. They meet monthly or more often during active searches for new staff.
Property Committee assists with the management and maintenance of the church building and property on which it sits. Most recently this committee has coordinated the installation of our new air conditioning system.
Public Relations Committee provides oversight of all internal and external church publicity. They organize advertising efforts, including newspaper ads, movie theater slide show ads, and press releases. Every three or four years, this committee coordinates the process of creating a new pictorial directory of the membership at Central. Most recently, this committee was responsible for organizing the Web Development Team which created these web pages.
Shepherding Committee encourages people in their faith to grow and more fully serve the Lord. Working with the Evangelism committee, they often make contact with new visitors or take them fresh bread the week after visiting our services.
Stephen’s Ministry includes a training group program to prepare members of the congregation to serve others in times of grieving, of loss, of struggle. This lay counseling program adds a rich dimension of support to our family of Disciples. Watch for announcements calling for members to enroll in training for the Stephen’s Ministry.
Stewardship Committee establishes and oversees the budgets of the church, including campaigns for annual development campaigns for operations and capital. This committee meets quarterly unless they are in the middle of a special campaign.
Ushers & Greeters serve by greeting the congregation, handing out programs, and keeping records of attendance at worship services. If you’ve got a nice smile, we’d like you on our usher or greeter teams.
Walkers is an exercise group that meets 2 or 3 times a week to walk in the Great Hall. This group promotes physical and emotional well being. Check out the mileage chart on the bulletin board near the entrance to the Great Hall. This large group with members ranging in age from the 40s to 80s is on the move!
Worship Department meets as needed to plan and coordinate the worship services including special worship services such as Ash Wednesday Self-Guided Meditation Service, Maundy Thursday, Hanging of the Greens Advent Service, and the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. Click on the following to view our Advent and Lenten Banners.