Early in 2020 GBC Elders, Leadership Board and up-and-coming leaders gathered for “Vison 2020” a GBC Leadership Vision Retreat. After a day of great conversations, meditation and prayer, we identified two main focus areas going forward (prayer & small groups) – the seed of Grace Collectives was planted.
Then the unexpected happened – Covid-19 and everything closed down. Yet, despite challenges of shutdowns, restrictions and hyper regulations, something amazing happened. As worship moved online, we recognized early the need of staying connected–community matters to us – so we started “social distancing” prayer walks, regular prayer gatherings (in smaller groups) at the Chapel and when restrictions and the weather allowed, we started backyard groups focused on communal worship. In a span of weeks, we formed six groups, engaging over sixty folks (both from our church and surrounding community).
As we look back, our vision retreat (a month before Covid) gave us the focus and tools necessary to endure not only the challenges of a global pandemic but also the social, spiritual and ecclesial challenges we would face as a post-covid church.
Grace Collectives are small groups who function as collective of folks who need of God’s grace. We are inspired to experience and share grace in the way we are to engage with one another (both in our small groups and larger community). We want to function as a “collective” (a grouping) not only of people, but also as a collection of God’s grace (which we pray will overflow to our community). Every time we meet as Grace Collectives, we want to encourage one another to act and function as a practical extension of our church in our homes and neighborhoods.
We are forming new groups (Early 2023) – Some Focused/Specific Collectives are being formed/or already operate. Current and soon starting groups include Financial Peace (based on Dave Ramsey’s courses) led by Shawn & Teresa Heimbecker (space is limited). Women’s Prayer Collective led by Jenny Turner currently meets at the Chapel on Tuesday mornings.
Pastor Paulo and Kathy will be starting a few Grace Collectives, one focusing on Young Adults (bi-weekly), another for Young Family (monthly on a Saturday afternoon @ the chapel) – times and location to be confirmed.
More themed groups are also being discussed and planned at this time (we’ll add more details as they become available).
In addition to Focused groups, we are at this point forming Grace Collectives Communities with those who have signed up for Grace Collectives. These groups will function in more unique and varied rhythms of Grace Collectives – Worshiping, Growing & Serving (to be discussed and decided by the group itself).
Regardless of how we gather in small groups, we would like to encourage all our Grace Collectives to intentionally worship together, to grow (communally & spiritually) and together seek opportunities for service (mission) in our own community.