II Kings 6:15-17
Ps 33: 6-12
Fr. Nathan Baxter
Laboratories of Relationship
By John Haile
My wife Sue and I first got to know a handsomely mustachioed Jim Zingarelli and his wife Kathy at Collinsville Congregational Church in Collinsville, Connecticut way back in late 1984 or 1985—I can’t recall exactly. He and I were both the enthusiastic, idealistic teachers we remain today—teaching art at The Master’s School in Simsbury and English at Avon Old Farms, respectively. We were two couples embarking on the adventure of parenthood, with young children in tow or in the works. As we got to know one another, we both decided to join the same Small Group, and we met weekly with three other couples under the leadership of Ralph Mattson to share our lives and study the Bible together.
Though the group changed and eventually broke up several years later as we all moved in different directions, the relationships forged in that group remain vibrant to this day. The bonds formed in the cauldron of laughter, joy, questioning and honest love have proven strong and durable, built around a common love for the Lord and a willingness to submit to honest exploration of his Word and what it has to say to us—how it challenges, inspires and guides us. I suspect that many of you can identify with what the Hailes and the Zingarellis have experienced through a small group.
Home Groups are God’s laboratories for relationship. They ask of us a vulnerability and a willingness to share our lives in ways that are often difficult, sometimes scary, but always rewarding.
So–here’s the good news: Home Groups at All Saints are beginning again soon! As the vestry member charged with oversight of our groups, I’m thrilled that so many of us have already been involved with a group—we have one that meets pretty much every night of the week. Information about time and location will be forthcoming soon. Stay tuned for announcements in the weekly newsletter and during the service!
If you have not yet taken the opportunity to join a group, I strongly encourage you to consider it. I’m more than happy to answer any questions you may have. I suspect you’ll find the small commitment this takes yields benefits you’ll value for years to come.
If you would be interested in hosting a group at your home, leading a group (or sharing in leadership responsibilities), please speak to me or send me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).