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  • Random Parishioner

Ever Wondered about House Groups?

Today is Tuesday and I like a Tuesday as its Knit and Natter day. There is often more nattering than kniting and I am constantly losing my place and having to count my stitches all over again, but I enjoy my time with the knitting ladies and I know they are very knowledgeable about everything, not just knitting, so Tuesday afternoon is a bit like "Google live" at the knit and natter group! But anyway what I was going to say is that I am about to write my very first blog for Diary of a Random Parishioner. Before I sat down to write I could think of lots of important things I wanted to say, and yet now, sat here at the keyboard, my mind is kind of blank. I get the very same effect when I am with a group of my Church friends and someone says "who would like to pray?". Its not that I have nothing to say to God, generally I have plenty to say to everyone, God included, but there's just something that happens at that point that stops me. Luckily God knows what i want to say, what I need to say, and He never puts me on the spot. The Church family would never put me, or anyone else, on the spot either. They are a very supportive lot! Which is just as well as I am a bit of a rambler (as in rambling thought and speech, not a person who likes to go on long walks through fields of cows, admiring nature) But I digress ... which is another habit of mine ...
When I first went along to St Mark's I thought I would just sit anonymously at the back, blending into the furniture - that didnt last long as they are a friendly lot and over tea and biscuits had soon worked out the level of involvement I would be comfortable with. But more about that on another day, today I want to talk about House Groups - see I told you I was a rambler, and a digressor (is that even a word?). Anyway, when I first heard of the of the House Groups I wasnt really sure what it was all about and whether it would be "my bag" (now i'm trying to be all 'hip and down with the kids', but to be honest I'm not sure how 'hip' that is these days or whether it just tags me as a senior citizen) ... where was I? Ah yes, house groups ... a group of people who meet together in the comfortable and informal setting of someone's home to discuss passages from the Bible and what they teach us about how we should live today. Sounds fair enough, but to be honest I was hoping it was also a little bit about eating cake!
When I said I would go along to my first house group meeting it felt a little bit daunting to join an established group of people who knew each other and probably knew a lot more about the Bible already than I ever would. What could I bring to that group I wondered. Would I be a fish out of water? On that first night with the group we were looking at aspects of David's life, another topic for another day, and I arrived very nervous and determined to just listen politely and say nothing - well that lasted about a minute and a half! Everyone was very welcoming and within minutes we were chatting away like old friends and having a good chuckle. There was some cake and i think it might even have been gluten free! Anyway, everyone's thoughts and opinions were listened to and discussed with openness and respect and the big learning point for me was that no-one set themselves up as an expert, we were all learning together and trying together to understand and make sense of God's word and how it applies to us today. Something in me always thought other people, especially people of faith, had it all worked out already ... knew it all, understood it all, lived it all already ... and I was the one playing catch up. House group helped me to see it is all about learning together, supporting each other, making sense of it together. So my message today is - if you have been wondering about house groups, if you have thought about going along to one, but are wary, speak to someone, come along, give it a try, there will be no pressure and you may be pleasantly surprised!
There might even be cake - occasionally even gluten free - but that's something I can't guarantee

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