We asked some Severn Runners how they got connected in our church community through Connect Groups. We thought their answers would encourage you to get connected if you aren't already.
Why did you join a Connect Group at Severn Run?
I joined to be connected with parents who also have young kids and when the pastor said we should all be connected, I wanted to follow his leadership advice so I found a group. I'm so thankful I did.
What are some of the benefits of being in a Connect Group?
Being around families who also are at a similar life stage of having young kiddos has been very valuable to me. We can share our trials, celebrate our successes and do the journey of life together supporting each other. I also learn more and do studies I would probably not take the initiative to do on my own, so it has been great exposure to studies out there and learning new things about God's word and learning how to apply it to my life in new and different ways. My son looks forward to going every Thursday night and playing with his friends, so it is a benefit to our whole family.
How did you decide which Connect Group to join?
I went to one of the find a Connect Group events and met some of the folks in each group. I found a group I enjoyed talking to and decided to try visiting. I also was specifically looking for a group with childcare and really like that not only was childcare provided, but also it was on the church campus where my son was used to playing.
Do you lead a Connect Group? Why did you decide to lead?
I lead Families with Special Needs. Many times even day to day struggles are made even larger when dealing with a family member that has special needs. Our group is a safe place to share parenting questions and dilemmas as we support and encourage each other with scripture and prayer.
If you are feeling God's leading to get connected with Severn Run, now is the perfect time!
Simply go to http://severnrun.com/connectgroups/ and search our Connect Groups based on life phase, interests or locations.
You'll quickly find a great group of people with whom you can grow in faith.
Two years, three months, and 28 days ago I became a Marylander--or at least I moved to Maryland. I had gotten a job, rented a townhouse, put all my belongings on a moving truck, got in my car, and drove 1,121 miles to my new residence.
After living in the same state my entire life, I wanted to make a change. I needed to make a change. It was a good thing. In doing so however, I not only left Minnesota behind, I left behind something very important...connections. Connections with church, co-workers, family members, places, and friends.
I was thinking all those could be replaced and new connections could be made. But as an introvert it was more of a challenge than I ever imagined. Of all those left behind connections, friends have been the scarcest commodity here in Maryland. It’s not because I haven’t meet people. I have shaken hands and discussed the weather with numerous people. Acquaintances seem easy, a real and meaningful friendship--not easy at all.
I left a large, contemporary church where I’d attended 20 years. I had joined numerous small groups over the years that lead to several amazing friendships. Through the studies, I learned so much from Beth Moore, Ray Vander Laan, R. C. Sproul and other wonderful Bible teachers.
So the solution to my emptiness seemed so obvious - I needed to find a church and get connected. I found the church and yet I resisted a connect group.
Thoughts ran through my head again and again...
- What if they don’t like me?
- What if I don't like them?
- I’m divorced...will I be judged?
- Share my deep dark secrets? No way.
- Will I know enough about the Bible?
- I just don't have the time.
Over time, through the noise, I begin to hear another small voice...
- What if I am missing out on new great friendships?
- Maybe I have something to share that could help someone else!
- So I divorced, I am still a valued child of God.
- There's so much more I can learn from studies and other people.
- We all make time for what's important.
This fall I am going to do it!
I am going to step out, take a deep breath, and find a connect group.
Am I excited? Yes.
Am I nervous? Absolutely!
But, I am going to do it.
How about you?
Will you consider joining me in finding a connect group this fall?
We will both be happy we did.
If any of you have ever loved your children, how dare you not love God's? That means you, as God's child, and it means everyone around you!
Some of you look at yourself and you hate what you see- don't hate God! You are the masterpiece of God and He loves you!
Psalm 139:14 says, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." What David is saying here is: 'I know you made me in love!'
God created you on purpose, in love, and Jeremiah 31:3 says' "I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself." It reaches from before time was created and it reaches after time has ended. You were created on purpose by the love of God! You are not an accident, God does not create junk. You look how God wanted you to look.
You are the art of God!
God didn't just create the Heavens and the Earth, the stars and the sun, the Rockies and the Andes and the beach for those of you who are beach people. The masterpiece of God, the crowning work in all creation, was you!
I'm learning in my own life as I learn to love my child, that to truly love my child as God loves- is to love God's child. Every one of God's children!
So the truth is, my love for my child is just a window into how I should be loving every human being on earth -because they're God's child too! -Dr. Drew Shofner
Aptly named, our seniors’ Joy Luncheon at Severn Run is truly a joy to be part of.
Primarily geared toward seniors, Severn Run’s monthly Joy Luncheon provides an excellent way for members of the congregation to get together, share experiences, and have a good time while enjoying a potluck meal. (Trust me, there’s always plenty of food.)
My own experiences (in June and August) were memorable. For those of you who may be more skittish or shy, let me put your hearts at ease. Everyone was friendly and welcoming to newcomers. Some approached me and my wife, Eileen, eagerly engaging us in conversation.
Two different people recognized Eileen’s Scottish accent and immediately introduced us to Marie, who has a lovely Irish brogue. War did not break out between the two. Far from it.
Hank and Jessie have been attending Severn Run since 1971. Like many who come, Hank had stories to tell of the origins and growth of this fellowship.
Hank gave an interesting presentation on Flag Day. His wife, Jessie, creates lovely table settings each month and her June setting perfectly fit his theme.
Shirley and Ed have lived in this area for decades. Ed remembers when the Baltimore and Washington beltways were being built.
Gwen Hubbard organizes each event and acts as emcee. She offers opening and closing prayers, greets newcomers, and gives announcements. Other church staff assist and attend, often with members of their family. It is a delight to see multiple generations share themselves and their experiences with one another.
Young Joe’s ever-smiling face was the very first one I saw when I arrived in June. He assisted in setting up each luncheon and was attentive to everyone’s needs. As it turns out, Joe participated in missions overseas and is now heading off to Hawaii to train other missionaries for overseas missions.
The staff strives to improve upon this successful activity. Suggestions for future luncheons include having a variety of themes, guest speakers, devotions, games, or topics of interest to seniors and adults. (Please provide your suggestions to Gwen.)
If you’ve never experienced this wonderful way of connecting with other Severn Run members, you have something to look forward to. Never dull, always friendly, ever positive – the Joy Luncheon lives up to its name.
You are invited to lunch at the Joy Luncheon (usually the second Monday of each month) Feel free to call the church office at (410) 551-6654 for more information.