New First… a form of group ministry ( next meal: Han Dynasty, Fri., April 26)

New First… a form of group ministry ( next meal: Han Dynasty, Fri., April 26)

New First is a Fellowship group that meets 4th Fridays at 7 pm at a local restaurant. The location varies; it is announced on our Old First website and Facebook page. It is open to all, a fluid group, not tied to any geographical neighborhood group, and no commitment month to month is required.

Yes, it’s fun to share a meal out with others. It’s also a chance to grow to know each other a little more deeply than sitting beside each other in pews on Sunday, or at coffee hour. Working together at meetings or in governance, we may come to know a small group over time, but this is different. This is an intentional choice to venture out from your comfortable home, your circle of long term friends, and extend hospitality and a bit of yourself to others. In exchange you will find warmth and connection, some small talk but also much laughter and deeper sharing.

Last month, we visited Penang, a Malaysian restaurant on 10th St. in Chinatown. Seven of us gathered around a circular table at the back, and shared a variety of wonderful dishes. The talk ranged from where we were from, our work lives, faith lives, to where we want to go as individuals, and even in community.

There is power and delight in meeting with others and discovering common ground, particularly on a cold night when the urge to cancel and burrow in is strong. People have been gathering with others since before the time of Christ, sharing meals and stories. This is also church, where we gather two or more to break bread, is it not? Our Fellowship is perhaps a form of group ministry, in as much as we grow in faith and trust together, this tiny microcosm for one evening of the Beloved community we would be. We dare to express tiny glimpses of our hopes and dreams and realize that others share them. In doing this we also build community.

Please join us, and feel free to bring a friend, as there are many doors into church life. All are welcome.

This month, on Friday, April 26, 7 p.m. at Han Dynasty in University City (3711 Market St). Please RSVP so they can get an accurate reservation number either via the FB event or by calling the church office and letting Mindy know you will be going.

— Karen Brooks