Mirror and Community
a few thoughts on HomeGroups and announcements about Bible studies and upcoming events with The Chapel
The other day I woke up early, like really early, grabbed my glasses on the night stand, stumbled into the bathroom, and turned on the light. A few of the bulbs seemed to be out because it was surprisingly dark. As I turned on another light I could feel how out of it I was.
I went to bed late, didn’t sleep well, tossed and turned and woke up earlier than normal. I could not seem to focus, I could not seem to see well, and I felt entirely out of sorts.
As I clumsily got what I needed out of the bathroom and started to throw on clothes, I looked in the mirror and I realized the problem.
I hadn’t put on my normal prescription glasses that I need to be able to see. I had put on my nonprescription beach sunglasses. Not only were they not the correct glasses, they actually made things worse…even though I thought they were what I needed.
As I looked in the mirror, I looked ridiculous.
I had the normal sleepy, confused, mess of hair with the typical morning disheveled look, but add on some beach aviator glasses at 3am and I looked like a 70’s rockstar after quite the night.
There are times we feel out of sorts, off, like things aren’t quite right or where or how they are supposed to be and it seems as though we aren’t always able to identify the issue. It wasn’t until I looked in the mirror did I know what was going on. Now, if Sarah had been awake, she would have wondered, what in the world I was doing. She would have helped me realize my mistake.
It was a simple, silly error, but it makes me think of a few things.
- Sometimes we recognize our areas that need addressing.
- Sometimes we need others help us see those areas in our life.
The truth is, we need both. We need a mirror and we need community.
We cannot just wait to discover our own shortcomings, shadow sides, or growing edges on our own. We need others to help us be refined, help us be accountable, to see and grow. We need to invite others into our life so we can grow to be more like Jesus in the pursuit of our faith. This requires an open and teachable spirit and a desire for community.
With that being said. We are not perfect and the faster we realize that, the better it is for everyone.
I had a moment this morning. I was rereading the scripture I had taught through yesterday at The Chapel…and suddenly I realized I had made a mistake. I stated that the Hebrew people didn’t know the water of the Jordan River would stop when they crossed over…they just went to the banks and it stopped. And somehow, after substantial amount of time studying the scripture, preparing, writing and delivering the sermon on this exact thing, I see this morning that I was wrong.
God clearly told Joshua and Joshua clearly told the people.
I was wrong. I was mistaken. I spoke incorrectly.
In the whole scheme of life, that little error is likely not really a huge deal, but I initially felt the weight of being wrong, of making a mistake, or preaching something incorrectly and I felt stupid and ashamed.
I then say to Sarah, “hey, I made a mistake yesterday in my sermon…”
And before I could say what it was, she says, “that God DID tell them that He WOULD stop the waters? That they actually knew? Yeah, I noticed that today.”
She wasn’t mean or critical.
She wasn’t condescending or trying to call something out in me.
She wasn’t making up stories about how I didn’t know what I was talking about.
She journeyed with me.
This is why we need community. This is why we need a HomeGroup. At The Chapel at Seaside, we want to do two things well.
We want you to be biblically literate. We want you to know how to read the Bible. We want you to understand the historical context, the audience it was written for, the amazing interconnected narrative of good news that is this beautiful, transformative, life changing wisdom called the Bible that leads us to Jesus.
We also want you to know how to live out your faith both in community and on your own. Knowing the way Jesus lived and loved and practice what Jesus practiced accordingly.
We think the best way to help in this journey of discipleship in addition to Sunday morning is engagement in a HomeGroup. A HomeGroup is similar to what most churches have. Whether it is Sunday school classes, small groups, life groups, community groups, missional communities, and more, they almost all are intended to help you grow in life and faith as a group. We call them HomeGroups because we believe when you step into someones home, when you sit on their couch or around their dining table, you experience a bit more of who they are. You’ve gone from someone on the outside, to someone that is a part of their life. And if we believe that these groups should impact all your life, let’s have them meet in peoples’ Home and call them HomeGroups.
So, what is a HomeGroup?
It is simply a smaller group that gathers as a community on a regular basis to share in life and faith, to pray for one another, to sharpen one another, and to journey to be more like Jesus together.
We would love to invite you to be in a HomeGroup.
Sunday, August 13th we hosted a HomeGroup Huddle. We are so excited to get people plugged into HomeGroups, and see the ones who have taken a summer break to jump back in.
We know a lot of people couldn’t make the meeting due to travel, so if you are interested in joining a HomeGroup or switching HomeGroups for any reason at all (no shame here), all you need to do is fill out this form.
If you have any questions about what a HomeGroup entails and what expectations are, just shoot us an email [email protected] or [email protected] and we will send you an informational document. If you are only in town part of the year, we still invite you to join a community so you have a place to land when you are here.
When you have others journeying with you, you are able to navigate so many more challenges and obstacles. It isn’t just you stumbling around in the dark waiting for a mirror to reveal things to you. It’s people who love you.
You may go faster on your own, but you’ll go further together.
If you consider The Chapel At Seaside home, please click the link below, download the app, and login.
This is the app that will connect you to your group and all other things for The Chapel at Seaside.
You will see “My Groups” and you will also be able to update your info, give, sign up for any events we have, or join other groups from this app. Most importantly, when you click your group, you will be able to see your calendar for meeting times, get your resources for the meetings, and see who is in your group. You will also be able to communicate with messages this way!
Make sure that you allow notifications. The only notifications you will get are study guides (which you will use for HomeGroups), meeting reminders, and messages from your specific leader and group.
A few other announcements.
- We offer a Young Adult/20’s and 30’s Bible Study on Thursday mornings at 8am that is currently meeting. Join us at The Chapel upstairs and we’re studying the book of Genesis together. If you are interested in our Young Adult group, please click here to get connected.
- Our Wednesday Morning Bible Studies kick off August 23rd. Men meet at 8:30am and Women meet at 10am at The Chapel. We will be journeying through the Gospel according to Matthew. I am excited to comb through this book with y’all. We will have some starts and stops throughout the year, but we’ll send out the info on that very soon. If you aren’t getting our communication for our studies, join the men’s group here and the women’s group here.
- The annual Stock the Pantry Event with our friends at Food For Thought is on Thursday, August 24th. Follow the link above to get more info or to give.
- Mark your calendar, we will have another Night of Worship with Daniel Pratt and his friends from The Pour Worship on Sunday, October 1st. We’ve had a few of these in the past. They are amazing nights of praise and worship.
- We will also have a beach bonfire in the fall. Final date is still being secured. We will let you know soon.
- Finally, we are a growing community and that presents some real challenges. It is incredibly hot out right now. So, if you need to be in air-conditioning, I would encourage you to be at The Chapel by 9:30am on Sundays. The inside usually fills up by 9:45.
- If you are able to sit outside and you are looking for a reason to have a sauna experience, or you just don’t mind the heat, we totally welcome you to make room for others inside and sit outside.
- Related to that, our parking challenges are a blessing. It is great we have people coming to worship while at the same time, parking is limited. You can park around the grassy area out front on Sunday mornings, but please don’t park or block (with bikes or golf carts) the far right if you are looking at The Chapel/east lane. It needs to be kept clear. And we also keep the gravel in front of the chapel open for congregating, kids playing, and so people can hear if they are on the lawn or in DiBicci Park. Do your best to walk, ride bikes, carpool, take the shuttle from Grayton, park in the Watercolor free public parking, park on 30A, or pay for parking in Smolian Circle. We have a great community around us and parking is a challenge, but certainly not impossible.
We hope to see you on Sunday.