(You can watch the video at this link.) God has allowed significant challenges to enter our lives through the COVID 19 pandemic, and God’s Spirit has been helping us to learn to do mission in a new way as we seek to help everyone we can meet, know and follow Jesus.
A central part of the “go small in the fall” approach is small groups, as they are the core of progress in discipleship.
For nearly 20 years, Sammys has offered Bible studies for women. Founded by FCC member Pennie Bixler (pictured above), the weekly teachings offer a comprehensive, yet approachable, way to study God’s Word. Each class session includes a lesson on Scripture taught in a group format, along with small group discussion. Sammys is inter-denominational and multi-generational, so women are encouraged to invite their friends and neighbors, no matter their knowledge of Scripture.
The teaching, co-led by Pennie and Bethany Christensen, will be based on the Scriptures taught in FCC’s Sunday services. The in-person group will meet at FCC from 9:30am to 11:15 am on Wednesdays. Masks will need to be worn and meeting spaces will accommodate social distancing measures. Childcare will not be available for the Sammys study or events.
“Each week, we’ll be expanding on the sermon’s Scripture with ways to apply what we’re learning,” Pennie said.
New this year, Sammys is adding an online option for women who may be unable to meet in person. Women may join a privateFacebook group to watch a video recording of the weekly teaching. Each week’s video will be posted by Wednesday evening, then participants may post comments and questions in response to the small group discussion prompts.
“I’m looking forward to expanding our reach to more people with the online group. People who used to be a part of Sammys and now work during the day can access the teaching and add to the conversation,” Pennie said. “Women can also invite long-distance relatives and friends, which may lead to opportunities for them to learn more about discipling others.”
Also new this fall, Sammys will include monthly gatherings to bring both the in-person and online groups together. They plan to offer field trips that allow women to build friendships and have fun in socially-distanced outings. Sammys would love to have input for field trip ideas, so send your suggestions to Pennie at firstname.lastname@example.org or post your idea in their Facebook group.
Each Sammys semester begins with a kickoff brunch. The fall brunch is planned for 9:30am on Sept. 16. Instead of a potluck format, Sammys will provide individually-wrapped food.
“Sara Bockland leads our hospitality, and is our hostess-with-the-mostest,”Pennie said, “She will be preparing a variety of delicious choices in a socially distanced setting.”