New wine (October 2019)

Jesus told a parable once about when the Holy Spirit starts to move, we need to find new ways for people to experience and live in it. Jesus said it was like harvest time, when grapes are collected and turned into wine – if you try to store the bubbly, super-charged new wine in old wineskins, the containers will burst.

A lot of new ideas have been bubbling up here at Springfield Friends in the last few months – ideas for ministries, for groups and classes, ideas from new people with new voices.

For many years, our adult Sunday School classes have been built around groups from the same generation, who meet every week and stick together for many years. This type of class has served peoples’ needs very well, but in today’s world, with longer work hours and many competing interests, it’s hard for people to be here every week.

Last year Tom Terrell started a new adult class, the First Sunday Fellowship, which meets on the first Sunday of the month with a fresh topic each time. It’s been very successful, drawing 18-25 people into lively discussion.

For many years, we were blessed to have dedicated choir leaders and choir members who practiced one night every week. Now it’s hard to find a time to meet, and this year’s budget can’t afford to pay a choir leader. Everyone loves music, so we’re going to try something new – a once-a-month choir practice at 10:00 on the second Sunday of every month. We hope this new time will make it easier. If you like to sing, won’t you please come?

Paulo Barata has started giving guitar lessons every other week on Sunday mornings at 10:00. If you would like to learn how to play guitar, or if you want a little help brushing up, see Paulo! Bring your guitar if you can – we also have a couple of spares to lend if you don’t have one.

On the 3rd Sunday of every month, Kelly Olmeda is going to be leading another new group, based on the book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. It’s based on the experience of Jen Hatmaker and her family, who took seven months, identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day disease of having “too much” of everything. Kelly has been in groups before with this book and its companion video, and when we see how many people want to come we’ll order enough copies for everyone.

To fill out the month and offer something for everyone, on the 4th Sunday I’m going to lead a different kind of Bible study. We’ll be looking at common themes throughout the entire Bible – for example, where we find the idea of God as creator, or different places in the Bible that explore the question, “Am I my brother or sister’s keeper?” If you want to learn about the Bible in a completely different way from Sunday School, then join us!

We’re looking at lots of other new ways people minister in the community. Belinda Schaal is already working on a leading she’s had for several years to provide warm hats and scarves for the homeless this winter. Sharon Shelley wants to get a few friends together and start making and freezing containers of soup for homebound or just hungry people. Another wants to set up a box by the side of the road where people could pick up free books or food (there are several of these around the High Point area.) Several Friends want to bring back the International Dinners we had here years ago. Tanna Shipwash wishes there was a fun, exciting group for young adults.

There are no rules, and the only limits are in your prayers and imagination!

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