GROW — Every Wednesday

By September 18, 2020

In this brand new Wednesday night study, our entire church family is invited to share an exciting new opportunity to fill the LEARN portion of your health plate discipleship with in-depth examinations of the Gospel stories, with meaningful discussion as a faith community of how these miracles can and do manifest themselves in our own journeys of faith.

“I’m excited to debut this new model for hybrid in-person and online learning and discussion,” reflects Rev. Lance Marshall, Co-Pastor and leader of this study, along with Dr. Zhenya Gurina-Rodriguez. We are constantly searching for accessible and powerful ways to help people grow in faith, and GROW is the fruit of that work. Whether you’re new to faith or a long-time Christian, whether you’re joining us in-person or from home, GROW is a great opportunity for you to experience the grace and presence of Christ.”

Now, with GROW having just completed its first week, here’s what its leaders have to say about this unique new study opportunity:

Dr. Mike Marshall, who helps facilitate Zoom breakout discussions in the “discussion” segment of this evening study, relates, “Here are some quick observations that I’m still smiling about today:

  • Watching Donna Smith walk church members down the hallway with such love and tenderness.  She is truly everyone’s “best friend!”
  • Seeing people warmly meet each other in room 350 — while at all times remaining masked and appropriately and socially distanced.
  • Walking into room 340/341 and realizing that Zhenya and Lisa had turned it into “mission control” for the technology side of GROW.
  • Knowing that mission control would have failed without the dedication and creativity of the entire A/V Team.  Austin Patton and Ali Starnes were constantly in motion — and those were steps-well-spent!
  • Watching my laptop screen document the many, many people joining us on Zoom – that was really neat.
  • Having the pleasure to join a Zoom small group and be nourished by the observations and faith sharing of church members and clergy alike… sort of a virtual snapshot of the Kingdom of God among us.
  • Walking toward my car at the end of the evening and realizing I am already looking forward to next Wednesday!”

In summary, Mike adds, using one of his favorite catchphrases: “GROW is Greatness!”

Lisa Helm, Director of Welcoming Ministries, says that GROW is the perfect place to take that first step in finding your place to connect with others at FUMCFW and share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ that proclaims you are loved and accepted completely.  “My greatest joy is welcoming people to our church and helping them find their Worship Plus One – which simply means that in addition to worship, they find a study or group that allows them to meet other people, build relationships, and experience the power and purpose in leading a Christ-centered life. I hope everyone will join us on Wednesday nights!”

Echoing this theme of connection, Rev. Phyllis Barren, who also helps facilitate the Zoom group discussion for this study, says, “The Grow Bible Study is an exciting way for our members to reconnect with each other. I hear from people all the time who say they miss one another, and this gives them a way to connect in person and on Zoom. The breakout rooms gave everyone a chance to participates and share their thoughts and feelings on the scripture. I loved seeing so many faces.”


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