It is in the context of a closely knit group that John records Jesus’ “new commandment” to his disciples – to love one another as he loved them (Jn 13:34). There, the immediate service of love rendered by Jesus to his disciples as an example is that of washing their feet and making them clean – helping them to become what they were not (Jn 13:1-17). In like spirit, believers are exhorted to restore one another where sin is found (Gal 6:1-2), and to spur one another towards good deeds and continue meeting to encourage one another until Christ’s return (Heb 10:24-25). While not explicitly prescribed in Scripture, the small group has proven to be an effective means of scriptural Christian discipleship.
Understanding a small group as simply a group that is small, the following small groups exist in almost every church:
- Groups that perform a function in the church
- Bible study or discussion groups
- Affinity groups (e.g. UMM, UMW, Youth Group, etc.)
- Any group of members who meet regularly (even if informally)
In vital congregations observed by the United Methodist Church, such groups serve, among other purposes, as one of the means for their members’ spiritual growth and formation.
As we consider our church’s mission statement: “We are a diverse community joyfully responding to God’s love and growing as disciples of Christ by nurturing, teaching, reaching and serving all people,” some questions that we may find fruitful to ask are:
1. Am I a part of any small groups in church? If not, will I consider joining one?
2. Are my small groups helping their members to grow in Christ-likeness?
3. What needs to happen for my small group to become a means of helping our members grow in holiness and love?
4. What can I do in my small groups to contribute to the Christian spiritual formation of others in the group?
The small group ministry is designed to bring adult members together for prayer, study, and fellowship. They are ongoing from one year to the next and sponsor holiday parties and other special events.
Love Lives On
Love Lives On is Small Group for surviving spouses or partners founded in 2014. The group currently has a total of 14 men and women members.
We engaged in formal grief work with continued supportive fellowship. We welcome those who have lost a spouse or partner and are interested in receving or providding support to surviving spouses/partners.
Recently we self-published a collection of poetry and wisdom for others confronting the grief journey called “Love Lives On: Grieving Your Beloved”.
We meet at a member’s home for 2 hours the first and third Sunday of the month at 3pm. We also have Zoom coffee hour every Wednesday.
To join contact Pastor Jenny or Pastor Rebekah.
Contemporary Issues is a Small Group open to the entire community/congregation to discuss current challenges in our society, and reads selected books to help us understand and navigate these challenges.
Reading is limited to a few chapters or about an hour of reading a week. Some of the books we have discussed includes Bryan Stevenson’s racial justice book ‘Just Mercy’ and Bill McKibben climate change best seller ‘Falter’.
We meet once a week for an hour on Sunday’s at 8:45am. Currently via Zoom but hoping to return to the Princeton UMC Library.
To join email email@example.com.
Meditation and Holy Healing
Meditation and Holy Healing is a Small Group that offers meditation and healing sessions based on contemplative meditation, scripture reading and healing prayers embracing the Holy Spirit and the transformative power of communion.
Come and Feel, and Come and Heal as we navigate the COVID pandemic and increasing political, economic and social conflicts in our country! Let us support each other and connect to find and nurture peace within, in your relationships and in our daily lives!
We meet every Tuesday from 7-8pm online. To join call or text 929-235-5333.
United Methodist Men
United Methodist Men Small Group is a creative fellowship of men who declare the centrality of Christ in their lives and through Discipleship, Evangelism and the Word of God, seek to witness Christ as Lord and Savior in the lives of others, and to encourage knowledge and support for the total mission of The United Methodist Church.
Meetings consists of speakers and programs. However, we also organize Family Game Nights, Movie Nights and/or Trenton Thunder game with UMC District or Conference
We meet the 2nd Sunday of the month from 8-9:30am at the Princeton UMC Fellowship Hall.
To join please contact Doug Fullman at (908) 208-6090.
Monday Morning Bible Study
Monday Morning Bible Study is a Small Group open to all.This group has been meeting since the 1970’s. We use the “Disciplines: a Book of Daily Devotions” for the current year, which includes daily Bible passages following the lectionary, along with a one-page devotion and prayer. Most of the session is spent in discussing the week’s readings. In addition to Bible study, prayer has become an important part of our gatherings with participants sharing joys and concerns.
We meet on Mondays from 10-11:30am in the church Library or telephone conference during the pandemic.
To join kindly email Pat Ostberg.
Circle of Friends
Circle of Friends is a women’s group that provides time for worship, learning, caring for others, and socializing. We worship through hymns, devotions and prayer. Learn from speakers and care for others through the Card ministry for PUMC members and members from UMC Communities. We enjoy socializing by coming togehter for Brunch or Lunch (Bring your own or provided).
We meet the first Tuesday of the month from 10:30 am until 1:30pm at the Princeton UMC Fellowship Hall. Meetings are only in session during the months of September-February, April and June.
To join the group contact Beth Perrine.
Vital Conversations on Christians and Racism
Vital Conversations on Christians and Racism is a Small Group that welcomes everyone to join in difficult and uncomfortable conversations about race in America and our roles as Christians. Together, we offer a supportive and respectful enviroment to find ways as individuals and as a beloved community to address racism.
Our meeting will begin on September 24th for 9 weeks. Meetings will be held on Thursdays from 7:30-9pm. To join please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Divorce Care Small Group is a group currently with 2-4 members. We welcome anyone who is going through or has experienced divorce to come and share their experience in a confidential and safe space. Our group provides care and support through prayer and biblical guidance. We meet every other Sunday at 4pm for one hour. Currently on Zoom but hope to transition tothe Princeton UMC Library post the pandemic. To join the group contact Lula Crawford.