Middle Ground is an excuse to hang out. The purpose is simply a social touchpoint with others in this unique stage of life. This is for couples and singles and please bring your kids!
If you can’t see the college years in the rearview mirror any longer or if getting your AARP card in the mail is down the road, then you’ll probably fit in. This is for those of us that may not fit into the 20 somethings, but don’t quite feel like a seasoned saint yet. We’re all somewhere in the middle.
WHEN AND WHERE?
One Friday each month from 6pm-8pm at The Common Grounds. Everyone brings a finger food, appetizer, or dessert to share, so you can come from work without worrying about dinner.
We eat, play a silly game, laugh, and make friends. It’s always a good time.
For more info, contact Chad & Jamie Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org
At Bloomingdale Church we believe that a healthy church and a healthy spiritual life is built on relationships of “Up, In, Out.”
UP – A REAL GOD CONNECTION THAT HAPPENS DAILY
IN – RELATIONSHIPS THAT HELP ME GROW IN MY FAITH
OUT – SERVING AND HELPING OTHERS FIND JESUS AS LORD
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. (Mark 1:35)
If you’re looking for an opportunity to cultivate a real, regular God-connection, consider these opportunities:
Read the daily Scripture from Bloomingdale Church’s message outline or use another daily reading plan. Reflect on it and write short responses.
Truths = Summary thoughts, observations to remember.
Application = How should I respond?
Prayer = My expression to God from what I am reading/thinking.
Find a place and time that you can be alone and be silent, and pray using a prayer model like the Lord’s Prayer or C.A.S.T.:
Gather with God’s people and offer praise to God together. Worship at Bloomingdale Church is Saturdays @5:30pm and Sundays @ 8:30 & 11am.
Apps and Online Resources
- Brother Lawrence, The Practice the Presence of God
- A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God
- Dallas Willard, Hearing God
- Stormie Omartian, The Power of a Praying Woman
- Kathleen Grant, Praying in the Word of God
- Philip Yancy, Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?
- Bill Hybels, The Power of a Whisper
Alpha Gather is a group of about 30 people who gather once every other week for food, friendship, and growth through teaching, song, and prayer.
Alpha Gather is a group of people who gather, grow in their faith and friendships, and then go into service to the church and community.
Is Alpha Gather for me?
- Yes! All are welcome.
- Newcomers who are looking to meet people.
- People who have been around for a while but want to build deeper connections.
- Alpha or Alpha 2.0 graduates who are looking for their next step.
- Anyone looking to take the next step in exploring their faith.
- Awana-clubber’s parents who are looking for something to do while their kids are having fun at Awana.
What is Alpha Gather like?
It’s laid-back like Alpha, but it’s also intentional about enabling you to continue in your faith journey.
What happens at an average session of Alpha Gather?
- Share food.
- Sing a song to worship Jesus.
- Read portions of the Bible, hear a short talk about following Jesus, or hear a faith story from a group member.
- Pray and be prayed for.
What happens on the Wednesdays when Alpha Gather is off?
We’re glad you asked! If you’d like, you’ll have the opportunity to join a Community Group that meets on the off weeks. Whereas Alpha Gather is an opportunity to connect with a room full of people, the community group will give you a chance to go deeper with a tight-knit group.
When does Alpha Gather meet?
Alpha Gather meets twice monthly on Wednesday nights from 6:35-7:55pm.
It meets for 3 terms a year. Each term consists of 2 meetings per month for 3 months and during the 4th month of the term, the group will “go” and participate in hands-on service.
1st term: September, October, and November meetings; December Service.
2nd term: January, February, and March meetings; April Service.
3rd term: May, June, and July meetings; August Service.
How do I sign-up?
Sign-up for Alpha Gather using this form.
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.
(Acts 2:42-43 ESV)
In my family’s lore, there’s a story about my great aunt — a robust, young-at-heart, gregarious Italian woman who was always pinching cheeks and saying, “faccia bella” (or, possibly, “faccia brute,” depending on the circumstances). This is how the story goes, through the fog of memory and years of embellishment.
Everyone was at Aunt Emma’s house for dinner and she had the table decked with a beautiful, white table cloth. She also was clad in vibrant white. My brother, then somewhere around 4 years old, was enjoying his spaghetti and meatballs. When a young one is enjoying such a meal, there’s bound to be some flying pasta. What with all of this potential mess, my mother was concerned that Aunt Emma’s dress would be ruined.
The meal continued with much motherly fretting and child-correction. Then, Aunt Emma asked that someone pass the gravy (that’s Italian-American for tomato sauce). When she was handed the dish, she immediately grabbed my brother’s hands and dipped them into the gravy. At once, she wiped his sauced-hands down the front of her white dress.
“There. Now you don’t have to worry,” she said as she continued with her meal.
This has always reminded me of the story of Mary and Martha in the New Testament. Jesus — and possibly some number of his 72+ -person entourage — arrived at the home of Mary and Martha. As this story goes, Mary sat at Jesus’s feet hearing his teaching, while Martha was “distracted by much serving.” Martha was pulled in many directions trying to serve Jesus and the other guests, because hospitality was of utmost importance. “You are anxious and troubled about many things,” said Jesus to Martha, “but one thing is necessary.” Mary had chosen the right thing.
Can you imagine this? An average day. An average house. A knock on the door. A peek out the window to see… Jesus, and (maybe) a big group of his friends, wanting to come in. Duck down wondering if they saw the peeking out the window. Wonder if the house could be cleaned up before they come in. Is there food for them? What do I need to hide before he comes in? Are there seats for everyone? What about that pile of laundry? What if he sees that (whatever that may be)?
I would be anxious and troubled about many things. In fact, I don’t have Jesus knocking on my door and I’m still distracted, I still find myself anxious and troubled. Our lives are consumed by many things and they crowd out any margin.
But, only one thing is necessary.
Living without margin increases stress and decreases relational intimacy. Just like Aunt Emma dipping my brother’s hands in the gravy, we sometimes need to create margin to decrease stress and increase opportunity for relational intimacy.
Do you feel the need to create margin? This July, we’re exploring what it means to live with Margin. Join us at 9:45am on Sundays in the Common Grounds.
Details on the series are here: Margin
Sometimes it seems like the only way to keep up with all the demands on our lives is to run at maximum capacity—and then some. But there is another way…one where we have room to breathe and space to respond to what life brings our way.
Come explore what it means to live with Margin.
This summer, the Young Families and the Middle Ground groups will join together on Sunday mornings at 9:45 for this Margin series.
Nursery and Children’s activities available for children of attendees.
When: June 26 through July 31 @ 9:45am
Where: Bloomingdale Church Common Grounds West
Questions? Contact CharlieA@bloomingdalechurch.org or ChadS@bloomingdalechurch.org.