A Deeper ConnectionNew Every Morning | August 8, 2022
A deeper connection is possible through ongoing interaction, as we sit together in a small group and study scripture, share a meal, and listen to one another’s stories and experiences. Small groups provide one route from an initial, meaningful connection to an experience of emotional and spiritual transformation. As a psychologist, I want to be a catalyst for change, helping people navigate their relationships with greater self-awareness, skill, and self-respect in order to experience transformation. We can all experience transformation through our relationships with one another.
—Angela D. Schaffner, Gather Us In: Leading Transformational Small Groups (Upper Room Books, 2020)
What small groups have helped you forge meaningful connections with others?
Join the conversation.
There are persons for companionship,
but then there are friends who are more loyal than family.
—Proverbs 18:24 (CEB)
Prayer for the Week
Thank you, God, for the opportunity to grow closer to you and to one another. We ask you to be present in our small-group meetings and to help us become more Christlike. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
Our basic need for belonging and connection to other people is magnified during times we have to be apart from others. Licensed psychologist and author of Gather Us In Dr. Angela D. Schaffner offers 10 helpful tips for running a quality Zoom group. Read more here.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.
It hasn’t happened yet. There have been some maybes, but no definites.
Somewhat cooler today, may have rain. Have a checkup with a doctor this afternoon.
Message prep and journal proofread this week along with CBTThankful for good news
from Washington DC yesterday. Climate change needs attention. It’s long overdue.
Need news from NEM. Feel very disconnected. Prayers for NEM well being, safety.
Thank You, Lord.
Glad to find and read recent posts. Progress for Jill returning to tennis, David working with a walker, and Scout doing well. Prayers for Julie caring for h. Hope our new posters become more frequent. Prayers for Lewis.
Sad to learn of disinformation causing churches to leave the UMC. That’s not the right way to base decisions. Our bishop came to speak to area churches, but I have no idea what he said. I need to
go to the conference web site and see what’s there. From my experience communication in churches is not what it should be. I think there are churches leaving the UMC in the New England conference , but most remain united on inclusion. Tough times in many aspects of our lives both near and far. Oh how we need You, Lord. Thank You, Lord for Your ever presence.
I have not had this experience as yet.
Spent the day on my own yesterday which was a needed respite from h. However, I came home to quite a mess that h created while on his own. I went for a walk at a local park as I was unaware of just how hot and humid it was. I knew the empirical numbers and usually heat does not bother me but yesterday it did and so I was a sweaty mess by the end. Our church’s pastor is on vacation in Ireland so we had a pastor who was formally the church’s pastor, now retired return yesterday. She gave a lovely sermon.
Prayers for Ally’s health and fiinances, David’s steadiness to improve and Lewis’ health to improve. Prayers for Jill as she returns to tennis. Prayers for Robert’s church as they await the lay person to become a certified lay leader.
My interactions with my small groups over the past 8-ish years has taught me how to listen well, empathetically and non-judgmentally. To have open ears and open mind. They have also taught me much about communal prayer, raw and honest.
I have made a significant bond with the captain of my new team. My team did win the play-offs and advance to the state play-offs this Friday. Yet, the friendship I have gained means so much more to me. We spent each of the last two evenings deep in conversation, unconcerned with the time or how fatigued we were or would be the next day. We have connected on a spiritual level and on the way home yesterday she said she rarely talks about spiritual things with anyone, and is surprised how easily we go there. She joked that we don’t just have frivolous conversations. She also cried briefly with me. She is a good person, I knew this when joining the team. But, she has been very open with me. Her mom is failing in health, maybe just a few weeks left, if that. But she has rallied in the past. We have connected over this. Her daughter is dating one of my former students – which is just pleasant. She’s just a lovely person. I just can’t get over God’s weaving of His masterpiece.
Dad has poison ivy quite significantly on his right hand, so we did not golf today. It is just as well – my body needs to recover and I have many tasks which need to be done. Dad, Becky, Don and I leave for the beach early Saturday. All day Friday I will be on the other side of the state at tennis play-offs, so I need to get to packing and organizing.
I joined my first small group as a college student. This introduced me to the concept. I have been in and out of small groups since. I have maintained a connection with friends from my seminary small group for30 years. Small groups have been a place where God has used others to teach me and shower me with love.
Today has been a rough day for David and me. I know most caregivers hit the wall sometimes. Thank you for your prayers. Know that you are in my prayers. Love to all.