Formerly Pilgrim Uniting Church, Doncaster Vic.

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  EXPLORER GROUPS at PILGRIM — OVERVIEW



Groups are not new at Pilgrim and our website already contains considerable information about the variety of groups that already exist.

The History
About 7 years ago this congregation via its council decided to implement a small group program and the key distinguishing factor was to develop the notion of active discipleship where people came together to intentionally grow in their Christian journey.

Initially, Greg Davies was employed to develop and build a vibrant, ongoing small groups ministry including and nurturing all age groups at Pilgrim Uniting Church for the promotion of Christian discipleship. More recently, the Small Groups program has been renamed the Explorer Groups program.

Basically the program includes the following:

bulletWorship
bulletNurture
bulletCommunity and
bulletMission

Not surprisingly, this is what the Church has been striving to do through the ages.

YOU ARE  INVITED TO AN EXPLORER GROUP FOR 2011

Explorer Group Leaders (Zoe McLachlan, Gwyn Roberts, Cath Barnard and Mary Whincup) can be contacted through the church office. Newcomers are very welcome.

Click to view details of Explorer Groups in 2011

Leadership
Our groups have two leaders and this has been a matter of policy established by Greg Davies and implemented by the Explorer Groups Coordinator Megan Coote. It has also been policy that any leaders must have completed the training that has been provided. The Explorer Group Leaders, in consultation with the Explorer Groups Coordinator Megan Coote and other experienced study group advisers, source materials from a variety of places and choose what they think is relevant to the needs of their group and then present their suggestion(s) for group approval.

Training
There will be another training opportunity this year 2011 (dates to be advised).  

The Meetings
There are four main features of the meetings and a fifth less evident that we are working on in 2010/2011. They are sharing time, worship, study, eating and drinking and laughing. Mission is less evident in the groups and will become a feature in 2010/2011.

Members Comments
In a recent review of the Explorer Groups Ministry the following comments from members tells the story of what being a member of a Explorer group means.

What people like about their group
People enjoy the caring and supportive environment that generates a deep level of sharing and trust that is safe, confidential, honest and open. The way learning occurred – people say they understand their beliefs better. Some are free to question traditional theology and are able to fit theology to the modern day.

The following statement is one that encapsulated comments from all the groups. The groups see it as a strong statement that needs to be broadcast more widely.

-   Explorer groups have enabled a greater sense of community and belonging within Pilgrim.  It is an opportunity to be able to connect with similarly minded people, and feel like you are not such an “odd ball Christian”.

-   In the Explorer group we actively encourage and support one another in faith, and by doing so enrich our own faith journeys.  Everyone has a different life story and it is a wonderful opportunity to learn from each other.

-    Explorer groups can be a deliberate decision on our part to push past our apathy – to challenge ourselves and stretch our faith that sometimes can take us out of our comfort zone.

-    None of us are religious scholars – we are lay people with the same questions, therefore we are on the same learning curve. Explorer groups provide a safe & friendly forum to ask questions, think out loud, explore and be interactive with an issue.  Remembering, that we don’t have all the answers, nor are we meant to.

 

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