Small Groups: Inward and Outward

Matt DampierCliffNotes, Frontpage News

Dear Christ Church,

Last Sunday my small group was able to serve with Church Under the Bridge. On the first Sunday of the month Christ Church partners with Mission Possible to help host a church service for our homeless neighbors under the 7th Street bridge.

CUB is a beautiful and rich community of people from all walks of life nestled in the midst of poverty and brokenness. Mission Possible coordinates the worship and teaching while our community sets out chairs and tables, serves food and beverages, and then cleans up afterwards.

Church Under the Bridge

Towards the end of the service, communion was offered. Men and women of all ages and many races came forward, hungry, to receive communion. Our group filed into the motley crew of intincters and imbibers as we all shuffled forward expecting to encounter Jesus. And the thought occurred to me, our Lord is here.

Anglican reformer John Wesley, preaching on Matthew 25:36 and the command to “clothe the naked and visit the sick” reminded his hearers that the Lord reveals himself not just in communion and Scripture reading, but in the act of serving the “least of these.” He writes:

“Are there no other means [than communion and Scripture, prayer and fasting] whereby God is pleased, frequently, yea, ordinarily to convey his grace to them that either love or fear him? Surely there are works of mercy which are real means of grace.” 

The sermon continues with Wesley driving home the point that visiting the sick, clothing the naked, or as we might say, being among the marginalized conferring dignity and eye to eye engagement, is a means of grace, a promise for our Lord to meet us through our neighbor. “Whatever you have done to one of the least of these, you have done to me.”

As the Interim Small Group Pastor, I am honored to stand among our small group ministry that focuses on both community-building and self-giving service. (By the way, if you haven’t joined one of our small groups, you can see the full list here!)

And notice I said I’m the Interim Small Group Pastor. Christ Church is now hiring a Small Group Pastor to lead this beautiful, essential, DNA-carrying ministry. You can find the details and the application here on the Christ Church website. I’d like to ask you to share this application, far and wide, with anyone you think might be a fit as our Small Group Pastor.

Grace. Peace.