Small Group ministries
Small Group ministries
Some of the currently ongoing small group ministries of our church include:
Spiritual Companionship Groups – groups of 3 or 4 people who meet once a month to prayerfully reflect on short scripture passages, examine the activity of the Holy Spirit in our lives over the past month, and discuss a spiritually nourishing book that we are reading together.
Church to Community Groups – a group that meets once or twice a month to pray for and serve the community, with a focus on engagement and compassion/missional ministries.
Spiritual Disciplines Groups – a group focused on the cultivation of spiritual disciplines in our lives.
Other groups include bible studies and prayer groups.
There is an Adventure Time program during the second half of the Sunday morning service for kindergarten to grade 6. Children stay in the service for the first part, which includes most of the singing and ends with a children’s song with the kids at the front. There is no pressure to join in for that if your kids are shy and don’t want to go to the front. After the children’s song, they head to Adventure Time.
There is also an unstaffed nursery adjoining the sanctuary with a double-paned glass window looking in. There are usually a couple of parents in there with young toddlers during the second portion of the service.
Teens are encouraged to stay in the service for the sermon.
Other Children’s ministries:
Once a month we usually have a “stay late day”, in which anyone is welcome to bring a lunch and stay late after the service. This was started by some of the young families to let their kids play together for longer. The adults enjoy it too.
During the summer we often host a week-long bible day camp for kids.
Here are some of the groups we partner with to reach out to the local community and further abroad:
- The community of Rio Azul through Food for the Hungry;
- The Mustard Seed Street Church in Victoria;
- Canadian Baptist Ministries/The Sharing Way.
July 2020: An update from our partner community in Guatemala
Rio Azul’s graduation dates have been extended to the end of 2021 to ensure continued support during the COVID crisis. FH Guatemala is hopeful that the situation will have improved by then and together we can celebrate their many achievements. Schools were closed by the government mid-March and are likely to remain closed at least until September, 2020. A reopening plan has not been finalized by the Ministry of Education. Unfortunately, there are no out-of-classroom education opportunities for children in the Ixil region, such as radio or online learning. FH has suspended its in-school activities and will follow all government guidelines and protocols for reopening its education-related programs. However, community members connected to FH have continued their work to improve the potential of children in the region and to increase access to education, particularly for indigenous youth.
FH provided preschool and elementary-aged children with in-classroom talks about values. Recent topics focused on “Children Are A Gift from God.” Middle school and high school students learned about identity, leadership, rights, and the prevention of gender-based violence, as part of a lesson titled “A Life With Purpose.” FH education facilitators also made home visits to help reinforce reading at home, and encourage families who are considering removing their children from school to reconsider. A total of 398 students from grades 1 to 12 attended these sessions and 44 home visits by FH staff were made to Rio Azul. Some contact has been by text but growth monitoring, weighing and measuring babies and children, leader-mother training and ‘cascade groups’ have continued during the pandemic. Thirty people in Rio Azul continue to be involved with savings and loans under the guidance of 8 women entrepreneurs.
The effects of Guatemala’s shut down were felt immediately by families in partner communities. With movement even within communities limited, families could not access markets for groceries or to sell their products. FH worked with local government officials first to plan (by telephone) and deliver (when travel restrictions eased) the provision of healthcare supplies along with basic food supplies to families identified by community leaders as having the biggest need. There have been 70 coaching visits to 30 gardens in Rio Azul. Church and community leadership training sessions have continued with 6 women and 17 men participating.
As they near graduation, the community of Rio Azulthanks you for yourfaithful partnership and support. Your presence in these communities through prayer, child sponsorship,and financial gifts is transforming thousands of lives and building a stronger future.
From the bottom of our hearts at FH Canada and FH Guatemala, thank you!