The backbone of our life together.
There are about 25 Connect Groups of up to a dozen people meeting in different locations, and at different times, in the parish and beyond for bible study, prayer and mutual care and support. We encourage every church member to be “connected” to a group (even if they are not always able to attend). Janet McLean and Janet Goodenough together co-ordinate our groups, and they are the people to contact if you want to find a suitable group.
During this first half of the Autumn term we'll be spending our morning services looking at the story of the Exodus. Our Connect Group sessions will be based on this series. For an introduction to the book of Exodus please watch the video below:
Baby in a Basket - 19th September
Sermon: Baby in a Basket (11.15am)
Passage: Exodus 2:1-25
Date: 19 September 2021
Under Pressure - 12th September
Sermon: Under Pressure (11.15am)
Verses 1-10 show us that, even against the odds, we can trust God whatever happens. Has there be a time in your life, or someone known to you, where you have seen God at work 'against the odds'?
In verse 22, Moses says, "I have been a sojourner [temporary resident] in a foreign land". In what ways might Christians feel themselves to be sojourners in a foreign land?
Hebrews 11:24-26 (NIV) says, "By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be ill-treated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward." Tim Chester asks, "Will you live for pleasure and treasure, or will you live in disgrace? In what areas of your life does this question encourage and challenge you?"
How does knowing the end of the story - that God will save us for all eternity - give us hope in hard and hostile times now? Pray for those in your group who are experiencing difficulties.
Passage: Exodus 1:1-22
Date: 12 September 2021
Watch the Bible Project video for an introduction to Exodus and read 1:1-22 together.
When God's people are persecuted they often grow, as they did in Egypt. Why do you think this is? Pause to pray for the Christians in Afghanistan as referred to at the start of the talk.
Why did God allow his people to become slaves in Egypt? Why do you think God allows his people whom he loves to endure hardship today?
Who or what do you find it easier to live in greater awe of than God? What does it mean to fear God rather than man and where in your life do you need help to live like this?
Last week we considered how God chooses weak people (1 Cor. 1:26) - in Shiphrah & Puah God uses unlikely, 'weak' saviours. Reflect on this recurring theme and pray that God might use us in our weakness.
Extra: Reflect on 2 Corinthians 1:20 - remind yourselves of all the promises that God has kept through Jesus.
Cross Focused - 5th September (Steve Nichols first Sunday)
Sermon: Looking through the lens of the cross (11.15am)
Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5
Date: 5 September 2021
Think of the tarnished coin Steve showed. In what ways has the cross become dull to us?
Read v.18a. Why does the message of the cross appear foolish to those who do not know God? What does this say about our ability to save ourselves?
Read v.18b. How is the cross "the power of God" to "us who are being saved"? Why is this such good news?
How might you answer a friend who asks, "Why are is the cross such a big deal for Christians?" How would you explain it is actually a big deal for everyone?
Further reading: 1 Corinthians!
Connect Group Extra sessions: