Our small group of 8 gathered at an old farm off—aptly-named—Dark Hollow Road. We’d been meeting at our leader and hosts’ house for about a year. And although we’d enjoyed other social activities together, this was our first field trip: a potluck tailgate meal and show, The Sleepy Hollow Experience.
What is a small group?
Small groups are usually 4-12 people who gather in homes, at church or restaurants to connect with other believers and study the Bible. All of us are members of Bethany Lutheran Church, but small groups can include non-members. It’s a wonderful way to slow down and take time to make friends. That is, to really get to know others, their families, joys, sorrows, and needs in a setting of trust and encouragement. Some groups share a common interest or quality—all of us are retired—while others are a joyful mix.
Small group study and spiritual growth
The heart of a small group is Bible study and exploration of Christian topics. To get us started, our leader, a retired Lutheran pastor, presented us with several options. We chose to study 1 Peter then Martin Luther’s Two Kingdoms then the Eight Great prayers. Viewing videos and engaging in discussions, we learned by listening to one another—and grew in faith together.
Small group fellowship
Group members share with and care for one another by lifting each other up in prayer. Before the end of each meeting, we solicit prayer requests and pray about our praises and concerns. We celebrate joyful events and gather around when one of us needs healing, especially when a member is struggling with an issue or absent. One member had to miss our fall potluck because she was recovering from day-surgery, so we bundled up like Christmas Carolers, caravanned to her house, and serenaded her. “Jingle Bells” in September. Now that’s fellowship.
Back to the tailgate and show. Several of us have travel plans and other commitments this fall, but we didn’t want to let a month go by without meeting. So, one member suggested the field trip to the farm to see The Sleepy Hollow Experience, and another said, “Let’s tailgate.” I’d never done either before, and I must say how much fun it was to do this together.
The show, based on Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, began at the farmhouse, moved to the “schoolhouse” then to the barn for the Halloween party. There during the intermission, we posed with the actors playing Ichabod Crane, Abraham “Brom Bones” Van Brunt, Katrina Van Tassel, and two minstrel singers. Our leader and his wife are to the left, Keith and I sitting on the haybale in the middle, and four others in the eerie blue light to the right. The finale, where Ichabod meets the headless houseman, took place at the bridge, along a long, fenced corral.
Though Ichabod disappeared, never to be seen again, rest assured our small group will gather again for study, growth, and fellowship.