We do Real relationship, no bullshit, ever.
This one is the hardest of all our missional priorities. We’re trying as hard as we can to be the same people on Saturday and Monday as we are on Sunday. We’re trying as hard as we can to tell and live the truth of our lives. We’re trying as hard as we can to “do life” together — not just “go to church” together.
In an Open G-group, people can come and go as their schedules and needs allow. For this moment, Open G-groups at Galileo include G-Coffee, G-SundaySchool, G-Kids, G-Youth, G-Study, and Bible & Beer.
Sundays at 3 pm, in the Quiet Room at the Big Red Barn. We’ve got coffee, and some tea, and everybody washes their own cup. Come hang out with friends who will most likely go to worship at 5 pm.
Sundays at 3 pm, adults gather in the Big Red Barn to study through a book of the Bible. “Invigorating... cerebral... not as profane as her sermons,” raves one reviewer. Bring your Bible app and your brain.
G-KIDS & G-YOUTH
Sundays at 3 pm, school-age kids (K-6th or so) gather in the G-Kids room at the Big Red Barn to share life, snacks, and Bible stories. Youngster Czar David and Kid Wrangler Kelley, plus background-checked volunteers, are our heroes.
G-Youth (6th through 12th, roughly) meets Sundays after worship, 6:30 to 7:30 pm. There’s always pizza; there always David; there’s always at least one more grown-up there to help process worship and figure out life as a follower of Jesus.
S4: Second Sunday Scruffy Supper
Yeah, we know S4 is a whole ‘nother thing. But this is our thing: eating and drinking with each other the way Jesus ate and drank with the people he loved (and some who didn’t love him back.) Every second Sunday of the month, we get a few people to make crockpot chili or the like, and invite anyone who wants to, to stay after worship and eat with a plastic fork. Sometimes we play board games. Very low-key, very good for body and soul.
G-Study goes in and out of season, depending on there being a group of people who all want to read something important together. Previous readings have included Brueggemann's The Bible Makes Sense; Brown Taylor's Learning to Walk in the Dark; Bell's What We Talk About When We Talk About God; Dreger's Galileo's Middle Finger... You get the idea.
BIBLE & BEER
For almost 5 years, we didn’t miss a Tuesday night at Fuzzy's in Mansfield. Now we’re uptown, at Torchy’s in the Arlington Highlands, the First Tuesday of each month, 7-9 pm. Galileo buys the beer (or Mexican cola, if you prefer). You buy your own tacos. We read the Bible passage that we'll be worshiping through the following Sunday, so this is your chance to engage in dialogue and have your voice heard. (No underage drinking, ever.)
Covenantal G-groups are groups that are constructed by church leadership, in consultation with individuals, in hopes that each becomes a Community of Care and a Community of Learning. More specifically:
1. Covenantal G-groups are Communities of Care in which we honor each other’s stories. By practicing habits of listening, narrating, and truth-telling, we learn to trust each other. We share mutual vulnerability. We take turns. We tell our stories. We pray for each other. We allow each person to be exactly who they are, without judgment, without expectation. There is little time for noisy chitchat; G-Groups are more likely to clear the clutter that fills our heads so much of the time. Like Jesus, we take risks in listening and speaking (and being quiet together) so that we can meet people where they are. We each expect that we, in turn, will be met and seen and appreciated and loved.
2. Covenantal G-groups are Communities of Learning in which we deepen our discipleship of Jesus. Together we learn (or relearn) the One Big Story that God has been telling for a long time. We read the Bible. We join in conversation with scripture, with each other, with authors we respect, with our servant-leaders, with our Lead Evangelist. We come with soft hearts and open minds. We want to know what God wants, so we can want what God wants. We look to Jesus as the fullest expression of God’s logic (logos, “Word”, see John 1:14) among us. We do not expect to ever finish this work, but we hope to keep moving closer to the Center all the time. This is rehabilitative work for many of us who originally learned this One Big Story in a way that diminished and hurt us or our neighbors. This rehabilitative theological exploration takes time, and we’re lucky to be doing it together.
Covenantal G-groups meet together:
• weekly, on a regular schedule, for eating and drinking and sharing life;
• for 10 weeks on, 3 weeks off for Sabbath each quarter, on an all-church schedule;
• for three or four quarters without major disturbance of group makeup;
• with alternating leadership and location quarterly or every couple of quarters to prevent burnout.
Covenantal G-groups consist of people who know each other, mostly. Newcomers to Galileo form G-groups by participating in “G-101,” a G-group just for people who want to know more about Galileo’s life together, and how they can be part of it, and how they can affect it by being part of it.
Covenantal G-groups need three kinds of people:
Conveners invite a G-group into their home and keep it going, administratively.
Facilitators prepare the content of the weekly meeting, facilitate the movement of each meeting, and report about the group’s life to the Spiritual Care Team.
Co-hosts are the body of a G-group, everyone who is invited to participate in the covenantal relationship of that group. Covenantal G-groups are communal affairs, with co-equal participants making them beautiful.
Covenantal G-Groups have a plan, mostly:
what we do
Gather. Give thanks. Check in. Pray. Study. Bless. Go home.
litanies of t’giving; prayers of benediction
These little prayers are short and sweet and perfect. Thanks, Ashley D, for writing them.
when it’s your turn to share supper
Co-Hosts will want to take a turn bringing food for their G-Group, and we’ve got lots of ideas to make that easier. And yummier.
pastoral letter re: g-groups
Once upon a time, our Lead Evangelist wrote a pastoral letter about our G-Groups; about how essential they are in the life of our church; about how we can do them better. This is how Covenantal G-Groups were born. You can read her letter here.
If you’re a co-conspirator or friend of Galileo Church, and you need financial assistance with basic necessities, please see our policy for receiving help here.
If you’re a generous soul with resources to share, and you’d like to contribute to our Helping Hands fund (which is funded outside our regular operating budget), please send us a note and we’ll tell you how to do it. Many thanks.