Ed and I have been married for over 13 years, have been involved in ministry for 11 years, and have been a part of about 5 different churches (basically one in each city we have lived in). We have been involved in various small groups throughout the years and have loved them all for different reasons. However, moving to NYC, people kept telling us how hard it was to find true authentic community here: “people are too busy”, “people stick to themselves”, “people don’t have much space in their homes to host people”. While we have found some of that be true, we have been so very blessed to be involved in the best small group we have ever had to this point. And considering we have been a part of some great ones, this is saying a lot.
We aren’t afraid to disagree, we push each other to grow and evolve and trust Jesus, we help each other with practical needs, we are involved in each other’s lives throughout the week and not just once a week, we show up for one another, we enjoy hanging out and spending time together, we desire to reach others in our sphere of influence for Jesus and we push each other towards that…what we have is rare and special. While there are lots of reasons I won’t name here about why I think our small group is doing well even in NYC, let’s just say that God has been truly gracious to all of us and we recognize that He has brought us all together and has His hand in all of it.
Over the past few months, we have seen seen 3 members of our group get baptized and Ed had the privilege of personally baptizing two of them. It has been so fun to walk them through the baptism process, see them make a public declaration of their faith, and then to celebrate the decision with them! Here are a few photos of the baptism and our small group fun.
This is just part of our group – if everyone is there, we have 14 in all!!
Blake and Fady in matching sweaters. Fady and his wife Stephanie (shown below) were the first two people in our group and we met faithfully every week praying for God to add to our neighbor, and he did just that!
Our babies holding our small group babies. Love getting to watch these two being born and grow up!
In between campuses starting back and the girls’ schoolwork, we have been able to do some fun things around the house – notice I said around the house since it has been FREEZING! here lately. We have practiced violin, built a tent city, spent a few hours playing with play dough, and made these coasters for the kids to keep their cups throughout the day so they aren’t using each other’s cups or using 5 cups per person per day. And we can’t forget eating edamame…Brynn, Emerson, and I LOVE them – which is funny since neither Ed or I had tried it before moving to NYC.