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The Blessings of Community and Fellowship
By Ileana Perez
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”
Hello fellow readers! I am a people person. Whoever knows me, has talked to me, or seen me talk to others knows that I don’t stop talking. I love to talk, chat, and engage with others not only because it fulfills my extroverted personality needs, but because I like knowing other people’s experiences, thoughts, ideas, etc., and I love reciprocating and fellowshipping. As an extrovert, I love being part of a community and being in constant interaction with others. Fellowship fills me with joy because God himself called it the greatest commandment to love one another (John 13:34). To love others is the way we show to the world that we know God (1 John 4:8). The communities I have been involved in and the members I have interacted with significantly impacted my growth, especially my spiritual growth. How is that, you ask? Here are a few recent examples:
I have to start with my High School, Fredericksburg Christian. The friends that I made there were such a huge blessing and a great influence in my life. They opened me up and encouraged me to be myself. In this “mini community,” we helped each other not only navigate through high school life, but through our Spiritual difficulties and challenges as God commands in 1 Thessalonians 5:11: “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.”
A second example is the community of my church family. New Life in Christ Church has been a wonderful blessing because of its community-centered focus. Its members have been really welcoming, friendly, and encouraging from the first day that our family came to the church. With the many activities the church offers, such as Youth Group, the Bible studies, and Sunday School to mention a few, I have found niches where my Spiritual Growth has been enriched. In this church, I see the fervent passion that is in the people to teach and share Christ! And of course, I cannot forget the Vacation Bible School and the experiences I’ve shared with my church family and the children who attend there! As Galatians 6:2 says we are commanded to “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
Lastly, my college community has also been a blessing. Despite the fact that I wanted to attend JMU for my undergraduate years to major in Speech Pathology, coming to Mary Washington has been a blessing. In a school that is deeply in need of a Christian presence, I have been able to find a group of friends through the Bible study led by Jeremy Greenberg. Because of that Bible study being brought to the campus from NLICC to reach the college community, who are in great need of guidance as they learn through the ropes of independence, I was able to find a great group of Christian girls that I can fellowship, spend time with, and talk to in school and outside of school. It was something I really needed, especially since most of my high school friends left to go to other colleges. And it all started on the New Student Lunch for the College Adoption Program. 🙂
Here are some of my final thoughts. I personally cherish community. It helps me develop as a person because I learn from talking and interacting. It is indispensable because it provides refuge and strength for people like myself—“extreme extroverts.” Even if you can’t tell, God uses so many different people in my life to lift my spirits and encourage me. God desires for us to engage in fellowship because living in this world is not easy, and He uses people to reach each other, to further God’s kingdom, and to build each other up. Relationships between members of the body make life enjoyable and rewarding. So, I encourage you to be aware of how your presence and actions are impacting others. Living out godly lives and showing His love for others not only builds communities, but it is crucial for the growth of His Kingdom.
About Ileana: I am the 20 year-old daughter of Ricardo and Cynthia Perez. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico and have lived in Virginia since 2007. I have been blessed with growing up (and still growing up) in a Christian household and with being the older sibling of Ricardo E. Perez. I graduated from Fredericksburg Christian High School (Class 2011) and I am currently an undergraduate at the University of Mary Washington studying Psychology with a minor in Linguistic. The plan is to become a Speech Pathologist after getting my Masters’ Degree.
Do you know someone with a story to tell or a testimony of God’s providence or faithfulness in her life? Let Annie Jedick know. If the Lord has laid it upon your heart to share, please let Annie know.
Save the Date! – A Shower of Prayer, September 21st at 9am in Fireside Room
Join together for a fellowship meal and celebration in anticipation of covenant babies as we shower Ruth De Los Santos, Tracey Greenberg, Hannah Reed, Annie Page, and Katie Pirch with love and prayers. Meal provided, no gifts, just bring joyful hearts of prayer and praise!
Titus 2 Signups
- Sign ups continue this Sunday in the foyer!
- This is NLICC’s primary ministry to women, all women post high school are encouraged to participate.
- Groups meet once a month for a meal, fellowship, study and prayer for seven months beginning at the end of September or end of October (depends on the group)
- Books are $7, checks to NLICC with Titus 2 in the memo line. You may pick up this Sunday or from Christine in the Office. Please do not place checks for books in the offering plate.
- Complete Lesson 1 prior to your first meeting.
Women’s Bible Study Sign-up
- Studies in the Confession of Faith – A Women’s Approach by Jeanne Patterson, taught by Christine Fulcrod
- Tuesday mornings beginning September 10th from 9:30-11:30
- Sign-up with Christine in the office
- Childcare available, $20 one child, $35 two children, $50 for three or more for the first 12 week session
- Book is $13, The Westminster Confession of Faith (recommended resource) is $10
Care Group Sign-ups
Pray about your involvement in a Care Group this year. Care Groups are the primary ministry of care and prayer at NLICC. Care groups meet weekly at different times and locations, so pick the one that’s the best for you and/or your family. Everyone who does not sign up in the next several weeks will be assigned to a Care group, so be proactive and pick the time/location/leader that works best for you!
CCS Ministry Opportunity
Christ Covenant School (CCS) is looking for those who would be interested in helping care for our infants and toddlers while their mothers teach class Monday and Wednesday mornings from 8:30-12:30. CCS, a discipleship ministry of New Life in Christ functioning as a homeschool co-op, meets twice a week during the traditional school year. We are looking for those who would be willing to help out once or twice a month, once or twice a week, or more frequently. If you would like to help care for the youngest of our covenant children, please contact Barb Plating
Fun Opportunity this Monday!
Brenda Storms is looking for several older girls or women who would like to help bless the YoungLives ministry with a fancy tea party this Monday, August 26th from 4-8:30pm at church. Tasks will consist of kitchen prep, serving, cleanup and dishes. Let Brenda know if you are able to help.
If you would like to participate in a women’s study or activity and need financial assistance to help with books or childcare, please let us know. Scholarship help is available. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to Heather O’Hara.
Why a class on Doctrine?
Why did we chose a class on doctrine for the Women’s Bible Study this year? Well, what we think dictates the way we live. What we believe determines who we are and what we do or don’t do. It drives our every thought, decision, and reaction. It determines how we view life and the things around us. Each of us has a doctrine, so we better make sure we know what it is we believe and why! When our Biblical doctrine is incomplete or skewed we are left handicapped in how we respond to God and the world around us. Study together this Fall as we study The Westminster Confession of Faith and apply the truth of Scripture to our lives. We are so thankful that Christine will be sharing some of her knowledge from seminary classes at New Geneva with us!
in His grace,
for the Women’s Ministry Committee