Welcome to Parish family groups and the beginning of a remarkable adventure. Soon you will be forming new relationships and building on existing ones that will grow in your Family Group. It can be a little daunting at first because of the unknown factor – you don’t quite know what to expect because you’ve not been through this experience before.
Family groups are a simple and effective means of deepening the community life of a parish. The support and friendship offered by the parish family can help to combat loneliness and provide a genuine support network for individuals, couples and families. Family groups are coordinated by volunteer Parish Coordinators and Group Leaders. Groups usually meet once a month and everyone is welcome. Each group decides what it wants to do.
At this stage it’s important to trust those around you who have been in the groups before and have experienced the great joys that you are about to. You might wonder what all the fuss is about – Sure you’ve been bowling, BBQ’s, to restaurants and weekends away before with family or friends, however the main difference in doing all these things with your Parish Family Group is that the Holy Spirit will be enriching your experience so that you feel God’s love working away through the group. Also, because you are starting out on a journey with people who, at this stage, are still almost strangers to you, you may be feeling a little awkward. Rest assured, everybody else will be feeling the same and any strange, shy, or anxious feelings you may have now, will be gone within minutes of your first event together and it will not be long before you are really looking forward to the next month’s event.
In each group, there is a Leader couple. Their job as Leaders is not to be organisers of all that happens, but to assist members to get to know one another, to be aware of any needs in the group and know what is happening within the Group and to move the processes along smoothly. They also keep in contact with the other Leaders and the Co-ordinators in the Parish. One of the best ways you can support your Leaders and your group is by regular attendance at the various events that you have all arranged. It’s great for bonding and morale when there is a good turn-up.