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.