Life Together

Have you ever thought about how God brings amazing people into your lives, and somewhere along the way you start doing life together and experiencing Him in news ways through the hearts of other people? -Michelle Bentham
 That quote is taking on new meaning for me these days. I mean, I have always loved family (I have the best), friends and my broader community, but there is something different that is happening.  When we moved to Hickory back in October we knew folks. Our best friends, Jess and Mille live here with our godson, Isaiah. Since their family has become like our family, we felt like we had a really good safety net of folks who we knew and were known by. We already had a foundation of other friends who we knew through Jess and Mille such as Chip, Lindsey, Laura, Shaun, Ryan and Allison. Since moving here we have also gotten to know some others like Chad, Tammy, Tim, Shannon, Scott and Lane. As a result of being a McKinnon, I have never had a hard time talking to folks; we are a very social bunch. However, there was something still that did not feel complete. There was this deep longing to be in community with folks in a small, intentional group where we could go deeper spiritually.

About a month or more ago I became a lay pastor at our new church, Christ UMC Church in Hickory, NC. After that I told Chip, our Life Group Pastor, that we would like to be part of a life group. One of the cool things (there are many) that I church does are short-commitment, "Taste and See" groups in the summer. The purpose of these groups is to give folks a taste of what life groups are really all about. Three weeks ago, yesterday, we began to lead and host one of these groups. Each Wednesday night, we gather with folks who were complete strangers and are now becoming friends. In the short time that we have been a group, we have --as a long-time friend of mine would say--gelled. On most weeks we will all bring food to eat together. We have fun eating and then going a little deeper into the message from the previous Sunday. This week we delved into the new sermon series, Credo. One of the questions that we attempted to tackle was this: "Can our creeds hinder us from loving like Jesus?" That questions sparked a lot of great discussion among the group. It was really neat to hear every different perspective and take on that question. The responses to that--on the surface--simple question gave a glimpse into each respondent's heart and convictions.

We are not there fully, but we are learning to trust one another. We are learning that we do not all have to believe all of the same things on every issue, but we can learn to grow together. I am excited to go on this great adventure with all of these great people. I am so happy to be here. Life is crazy and stuff happens but being in a group like this reminds me that I serve a God who give second, third, forth and myriad of chances.

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