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Stephen Ministry   

Importance of Small Groups

The following was presented by Mike Falarski at the Chapel Sunday worship service on Sunday 4/22/18 as the Invocation. We are repeating this on the web site because of the importance of Small Groups to the future of the Chapel. We encourage you to seek out Pastor Bill, any member of the Chapel Board, or any member of the small group that Mike belongs to:

                              Mike and Judi Falarski

                              Sherry Benz and Dennis Cullen

                              Brooks and Cindy Fuller

                              Katharine and Brian Dombrowski

                              Don and Joyce Kludt

Pentecost, the day the Spirit descended onto the Apostles, is on May 20 this year. Pentecost is generally recognized as the birthday of the Church. People tend to think of church as a place. In actual fact, ‘Church’ is the name given to people who follow Jesus, who meet together to worship God and learn to do what God asks of them.  The very first churches were formed by communities of people who met in each other’s homes. These early Churches had four primary characteristics: They devoted themselves to the Apostles teachings, to fellowship, to the “breaking of bread and to prayer.

So why mention this today? Because, I feel like I am in the midst of a new church. It is called a ‘small group’ which we helped form a couple of months ago. It consists of 5 couples that have joined together to grow closer to the Lord and each other. We pray together, we study the bible together, we support each other in troubled times. Does that sound familiar? I just think it must not be much different than the early churches. It certainly is transforming my sense of being a Christian and bring me closer to the Lord. I am beginning to understand the feeling of the Spirit being with me. I can’t help but want to share this with everyone.

I have been advocating small groups for years but never pulled the trigger to form one myself. I guess I always worried about being rejected, was just too busy, or was not Christian enough.  Pastor Bill asked me at dinner one evening when I was going to form a small group. I could not come up with any good excuse why not so our group was born. It turned out to be the easiest and best thing I have done in a long, long time. I love being able to share my thoughts and concerns with a group of friends and fellow Christians. We are a Church!! I anticipate sometime in the future our group will spin off into more groups just like the original Church.

I encourage you all seriously to get involved in a small group. You may be able to join an existing one but, if not, start one of your own. I am happy to offer my help. Don’t wait for Pastor Bill to ask you why you aren’t in a small group.

Welcome to the Villlages Community Chapel

The Villages Community Chapel is a multi denominational Christian Church serving those who live the Villages Golf and Country Club and the nearby Assisted Living Facilities in San Jose, CA.  Our weekly worship service is held at 10AM Sundays in the Cribari Auditorium in the Villages.

A Word From The Pastor

Empathy for Others

Author: 
Senior Pastor Bill Hayden
Date Published: 
Sunday, October 21, 2018

     Every day we are observing, perceiving and making decisions based on our perceptions of events, rather than wisdom. When you were a youth, a decision was influenced by emotions and peer pressure, as opposed to understanding. If you perceive something is a certain way, the tendency is to look for others who will support your views whether they are accurate or not.

     In the mid-eighties when I worked in Human Relations with the responsibility for managing Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance, Hiring, Training, and Development. I became exposed to so many different ethnicities and cultures that enhanced my view and broadened my understanding of people. Working in Human Relations taught me a lot about people from all over the globe. 

     The workshops that I developed and conducted for management training allowed me to be creative in bridging the gap among different ethnic groups. I never thought that my wonderment of people groups would afford me the opportunity to pass my learning and wisdom gained onto others. In the workshops, I would intentionally assign the participants to different ethnic groups to bridge the gap between people. In the role-playing, I would ask them the question, “What is it like to be a person of this group?” and then ask another person from that particular group to respond. This exercise made some people very nervous and uncomfortable. They confessed that they had based their decisions on other people’s opinions. 

      It was very encouraging doing the week’s workshop to witness the participant's transformation. The results were so compelling that I developed a team and went to other organizations outside the company.  

     The next time, before you jump to conclusions about someone, put yourself in their shoes and then speak. I Corinthians 13:11 NKJV “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

     Join us this Sunday at The Villages Community Chapel in the Cribari Auditorium each Sunday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. We would love to meet you. To learn more about the Villages Community Chapel visit our website hip://villagescommunitychapel.org/ You can hear previous and current sermons