Monday, December 2, 2013

COME!

The title of this blog is an invitation.  It is extended to you.  To your neighbor, your co-worker, your babysitter, your mother-in-law, your yoga instructor.  The exclamation point is meant to conjure up a big smile and maybe even a hug.  It has become the tagline, as well as the invitation, for GIG our Wednesday morning women’s Bible Study at Apostles this fall. 

Let me back up in an effort to explain.  Last spring, as we wrapped up GIG for the year, God was churning hearts.  Members of the study, teaching leaders, small group leaders, all – felt an unsettledness at where we stood.  At the end of an amazing year of studying God’s word and a ‘successful’ year of Bible Study, we felt as if we had missed something.  As we shared and prayed and pondered these thoughts, it became clear that God was asking something more of us.  In a slow and gentle way, God showed us that He desired us to hold this study a little more loosely.  We had been organized and orderly, but perhaps our order had created a box that was a bit too small, a bit too self-defined.  He had poured out such richness into our hearts through His word, but we had just drunk it in with doors shut.  The question of our hearts became, how can we create a study where we are fed – with the structure needed to keep 80 women in line – but at the same time open the doors such that we reach out into our community weekly to bring in those who may have never heard of words so life-giving?

The answer to that question was COME!  We created flyers and bookmarks and Evites that every registered member of GIG could have on hand to pass out in their schools and carpools and work places.  We continued our rich sharing and fellowship in our small groups, but we opened the doors during the teaching “message” (from 11-11:30am each Wednesday).  Each week smiling women have volunteered to wait at the doors to see who might trickle in to hear of this life changing Man, Jesus.  And each week they came.  Sometimes just a couple, sometimes as many as a dozen.  Women of no faith, women of abandoned faith, women of great faith.  Women who have experienced great loss and great strain.  But each week, some have COME. 

The blessing has been all ours - to watch and see what He does with our tiniest obedience.  A Jewish woman who visited told her friend through eyes filled with tears, “I just felt so warm being here.”  He is so faithful.  All.  The.  Time.

So, to the women of Apostles, we now invite every one of you into this.  The Sip and Savor the Season Christmas Tea desires to reach out into our communities.  GIG is working with the other women’s Bible Studies, and we would like your involvement as well.  Will you join us at the Tea on Wednesday, December 11 from 10-11:30am.  And more poignantly, will you look around and ask the Lord to show you just one person (or more) to bring to hear a message of what happens when the God of all creation is born in our hearts, a message of hope to us all?  This is outreach made easy.  We will have live music, hot drinks and yummy treats.  We will have a pretty fellowship hall and smiling women.  We will do it all, so all you need to say is COME! Tickets to this event will be sold after both services this Sunday (2 tickets for $5).  If you have any questions about the Christmas Tea, contact Lauren Mann, laurenEmann@yahoo.com.  If you have questions about the COME outreach of GIG, contact Liz Fischer lizziefischer@gmail.com.



“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine.”
Ephesians 3:20


To God be the Glory.

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