Across our campuses, our groups are staying connected as they continue to reach out to others, living out our mission of engaging the whole person with the whole gospel of Jesus Christ anywhere, anytime, with anybody. Continue reading below to see how groups are important to our community.
“Many of our groups are staying connected with one another via video conference platforms, email, and social media. They continue to lift one another up in prayer. Our groups are reaching out by meeting local needs with organizations, such as The Well in Spring Hill. Our Senior Care Team was contacted by an assisted living facility in our community, asking if we had folks in the church who would be willing to serve as pen pals with their residents. This unique service opportunity has been undertaken by groups of all ages, who have shared encouragement and hope from Scripture to those in quarantine.” —Juan Sali (Station Hill campus)
“Some of our group members work at a local school. They knew of a family there who receives assistance for food; however, the support for food wasn’t readily available at the time. Our groups decided to do something about it. They took up donations and came up with $500, which was used to purchase a grocery gift card for the family. Here we have an example of the church being the church and meeting needs in the middle of a pandemic.” —Jay Fennel (Nolensville campus)
“Our groups are doing such a great job of staying connected during this season and are emotionally closer than ever before. They are doing this primarily by taking advantage of different teleconferencing tools and are meeting twice a week during this time—once to just check in with each other and the other time to go through the lesson. One of our groups has a particularly high number of nurses and medical workers. They routinely tell their group of how they are helping COVID-19 patients. Many patients are alone without family, and our group members have seen some patients be healed while others have passed from this life to the next. This group has become a bedrock of support for our frontline medical workers. The group leader mentioned that they now consider each other as a family. Hearing stories like this makes this entire time worth it and meaningful.” —Hunter Melton (Avenue South campus)
“Our groups are doing their best to remain active in serving the community through food initiatives, caring for the homeless, praying for one another, and rebuilding for tornado relief. Overall, our group participation remains the same as it was prior to the Covid-19. However, one great blessing that we are seeing in groups is that new people are joining for the first time during this unprecedented time. It truly is amazing to see God connect friends, neighbors, and families for the first time through our groups.” —Travis Simpson (Lockeland Springs campus)
“Our GraceWalk LIFE Group generously showed their appreciation to 108 Vanderbilt nurses, doctors, and support personnel on 4 different units at Vanderbilt, who have been on the front lines caring for COVID-19 patients and others. They delivered 65 meals to St. Thomas West and 50 meals to Stone Crest. This was all because of the generosity of our groups as well as our restaurant partnership with the Bar-b-Cutie team. Every meal had a personal blessing and Scripture verse on it. We are so grateful to our groups for continuing to love our community well.” —Paul Wilkinson (Brentwood campus)