I often brag about how awesome my small group is--i.e. church small group. We call ourselves the Fort Rock Stars as we hail from Fort Mill and Rock Hill, SC. There is always great hilarity mixed with great spirituality. We have loads of seemingly dominant personalities, but somehow we have formed a community, seeking to be disciples of Christ, family, and fun.
A recent example: in the middle of prayer time (after 10 straight minutes of laughing time), John Zimmer prayed, "And Lord please help Paul...who has it all." (say it out loud if you need to and realize how awesome it is to rhyme while trying to be serious)
As with any pack of friends, we have our own quotes and jokes...and Michelle is the keeper of those. She will draw pictures if necessary to convey the moment. Elisabeth is loud and proud and is quick to let us know what is crazy with this world. Julia will cut to the heart of the matter and ask you the question(s)--40 usually--that will move you closer to God or will move her closer to understanding the matter. Paul sits in the corner with his own personal fan and drops on us alternate funnies and nuggets of wisdom. Jerod provides our insane animal trivia and the questions about faith that I can't begin to dream up. Richard was frightfully quiet at first, but has since become the master of the one-liner at the appropriate time. Iris lives out loud with an amazing mix of insight, acumen, and a lovely dose of humility. Dear Emily has been through more in the past two years than almost anyone I know, and the Lord has truly blessed her with a meek spirit and inner strength. She's our caring Mommy and our brilliant Harvard lawyer. John keeps us focused on the real meaning of Scripture, making sure that we are reading it well...then he shows off his white boy dance moves and makes me cry because I'm laughing so hard. And back to Michelle...her enthusiasm about everything is infectious...like you want to run and join whatever it is she has going on. And it's my job to corral all of this...(it's like herding cats). We nudge our hearts closer to the Cross, we learn patience and practice, and we laugh...the deep belly laughs of acceptance and love.
And just so you know the depth of our oddness, read this invitation sent via email to our group regarding this Thursday night's activity:
So as it is the Thursday before Thanksgiving Day,
So as we all may partake in gastronomical investigation,
In spirit of fellowship and healthful consumption of elements shared by our forefathers,
I, IRIS EMILLE ROWE HARTNESS, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 20, 2008, as Small Group Thanksgiving.
It would behoove you all to prepare or purchase a side item or dessert of your liking and bring herewith to said joyous occasion at the good hour of seven o' clock in the evening. Please respond to this communication piece with affirmative reaction and declare your intention to attend and what accoutrement will accompany.
Please take heed, the following has been fortuitously determined:
Main course: Hartnesses (Rotisserie Chicken...Since Emily did such a nice job carving the first one...)
Side: Jones (Stuffing ala Shelbur)
Good day and God speed.
And so, I give thanks right here on my bloggy for this awesome assortment of souls with whom I share my Thursdays.