Why Small Groups? An Acts reason

Acts 2:42 - “And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”

With this one verse, the church began it’s communal ministry. Pentecost overflowed the Spirit onto the disciples, the Apostles…the sent ones. Peter gave a rousing and daring sermon because of that Spirit. But what about afterward? What happened after the tongues of fire died away? What came next when the crowds dispersed and the powerful sermon was over? Where did everyone go after 3000 baptisms happened and the adrenaline rush of joy subsided??

They went back to their lives and did something small. Basic teachings from these followers of Jesus about Jesus. Bite sized bread and wine which gave the real presence of Jesus. Whispered prayers to a good Father who this Jesus talked about and talked to all the time. Mini meetings about life, grace, and everything in-between. Even tiny offerings to simply be the presence of Jesus to others in need.

There was nothing famous or notorious or glamorous about these small movements of the early church. Yet, it’s effect even dwarfed the Pentecost events’ effect. 3000 came to the faith that day on Pentecost. But over the months and years, the small and almost unnoticed movements of the early church brought hundred of thousands into the faith.

So, that’s “why” small groups. The Holy Spirit obviously shows up in sermons and in worship services. The Spirit obviously works through bigger events and mass prayer gatherings. Yet, the Spirit also works powerfully when followers of Jesus gather around His word and let it work in small ways…for sometimes big impacts.

I’m excited to see what the Spirit will do with all groups…whether these new small group gatherings or in study groups that have been meeting for years. I’m praying for these groups, and I would welcome you to prayerfully consider joining one of these gatherings. Ask questions of God about these and feel free to ask questions of me or group leaders. Be lead by the Spirit to see how we continue to be loved and sent through the big and small movements of the body of Christ.

“And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” - Acts 2:46-47

If you'd like to register for a small group, please click here

Outdoor Worship services

After much prayer and consideration, Pastor Jonathan and the ministry staff have decided to begin offering outdoor worship services.

These are simple but meaningful sacramental outdoor worship services. The services will last 45 minutes.

As you register, please choose only one of services to attend by registering as a "Sunday 8am Seat" "Sunday 8am Car"

When registering for Seats spots, please register for everyone in your family who needs a seat. When registering for Car spots, please register just 1 car spot.

You can register multiple people from your family without giving their names, however, if someone contracts COVID-19 in your service you will be asked for the identities of who you registered by an elder or staff member of SOTH for internal use only. If you have any problems with this, please contact the church at soth@soth.org or Pastor Jon at jbrandenburg@soth.org

All registrants should be aware of the following guidelines for these services:

- Social distancing (6ft) will be observed at all times while on church grounds for non-family or non-residing together individuals

- Face-coverings will be worn at all times while standing outside under the breezeway or on the patio areas. Car spots don't have to wear a mask.

- Children 5 and under and people with respiratory issues are not required to wear masks

- All fellowshipping in the breezeway or on the patios will be done observing social distancing.

- Gatherings will not exceed 50 people in total

- All parishioners will be required to register for a worship time either online or by phone

- Full disclosure document of all these policies and warnings to vulnerable groups will be given at the time of registration

- Pastors and communion assistants will bring communion to each family. The bread and the wine will be given together with no touching being done by the pastor and/or the communion assistants

- COVID-19 information signs will be posted at all entrances and exits.

- Only 2 restrooms in the Chapel West hallway will be open for restroom use, and the restroom in the Cry Room will be for infant and younger children’s use.

- Offering will be taken at the beginning and the end of the service.

- No children or youth programs will be offered at any of the worship services, including nursery

- Chairs will be pre-setup for every family that registers for a "seat" spot. Please look for your family name tapped to the chairs.

- Hand sanitizing stations will be available at all exits and entrances.

- Our janitor will be sanitizing all used areas after every service

- There will be no refreshments offered and there will be no kitchen access.