For 2+years, we have been spending our Thursday nights with people who have become some of our closest friends. Our group has been called different things over the years; Missional Community, Small Group, Redemption Community but whatever the name, it’s purpose has always been the same: to be Gospel-centered and outward focused. We’re about loving God, loving the church and loving the world. We’ve laughed (a lot), cried (a little), and been there for one another through the joys and struggles of life. It’s been a great couple of years together as a group, but sadly the Anderson RC came to an end last night. With our RC leader moving to San Fran in a couple months, we knew that it was time for a transition. With a bittersweetness we said good-bye to our ‘old’ group last night, but look forward to the new group that Joe + I will begin leading in 2012. I’m excited and nervous for the journey that is ahead of us. We’re excited for the new friendships that will be made and lives that will be transformed. I’m beyond grateful that God has entrusted us to lead some of His people and by God’s grace, we will do it well.
We decided to end the group on a high note with a fun, no-tears-allowed Christmas party which included a white elephant gift exchange. The rule was, you couldn’t buy a gift, rather you had to bring something from your house. Confession: I know gift giving should be fun, but it usually stresses me out. I mull over what to give the giftee; whether it should be something practical, funny, extravagant or homemade. You would think a White Elephant gift would be easy, but NO. I think I had an anxiety attack lol. We finally decided on a half-used crossword/sudoku book and the first season of Everybody Loves Raymond. We ended up bringing home: a meditating cow statue, an electrode massager, and the Book of Mormon. Everyone joked that those gifts were a sign of the direction that the Kokes RC was going to go. LOL! While our gifts were cool, I think the winner goes to my friend Victoria who got her very own autographed picture of Pastor Justin…given to her by Pastor Justin himself! Oh I’m going to miss that group of crazies SO much.
haha…please do me a favor and read the full post if you haven’t. Otherwise this picture might be very confusing!