Celebrating mums' bible studies at Rosedale
Nervously I paced up and down our church lounge. The sofa and chairs were arranged in a nice horseshoe shape around the baby mat. In the corner the kettle was freshly boiled and the fruit loaf spread with butter. Another playmat had a scattering of toddler toys and the little wooden kitchen was accessorised with a small selection of toy fruit and veg. Piled up next to the coffee table was the stack of Bibles. I was all ready for our very first Mum’s Bible Study. But would anyone come?
The success of that first Butterfly Babes parent and toddler group at the beginning of January 2019 had continued. After a few weeks we realised that for safety reasons we were going to have to limit number to the first 25 families that came through the door, although turning people away was heartbreaking. There was no doubt that the Lord was guiding us to be more accessible to the families in our community and we felt that this was a current ‘wave’ that God intended us to catch*. Our Easter Workshop was full, our Sunday School numbers had increased. And now, at the beginning of the new summer term, I was about to offer a Monday morning Bible study and prayer for mums. They could bring their pre-school aged children, have coffee and cake and we would look at scripture together and pray. This had been a dream of mine since my children were toddlers, but was it God’s plan? Was this really His wave? And was this the way we were to surf it?
The minute hand ticked on… 9.23, 9.24, 9.25… and Laura walked through the door with baby Summer. Followed by Christina and young Theo a minute later! I breathed a “Thank you, Lord!” and began serving coffee and cake.
The group has now been running for three months and for the regular eight of us who gather it is the highlight of our week. The discussions range high and low. Scriptures are considered, debated and applied. Prayer requests are shared and answers noted in our little green prayer diary. The cake is incredibly important, but even more valuable are the friendships that are forming. Between us we have mums, grandma’s, and a nanny. Occasionally sisters or teenage daughters join us. Not all those who come on a Monday attend Sunday worship and, as is common at Rosedale, we have Greek, Italian, Caribbean, Brazilian, Zimbabwe and English ethnic backgrounds. We have formed a WhatsApp group and support each other through the week in prayer and encouragement.
It is hard to put into words what the group has come to mean to us. It is a safe place where our real troubles and heartache can be shared and joys celebrated. Yes, it is chaos and the one time we tried a Bible meditation it failed because of chasing after the toddlers! But we are growing in Christ together, encountering the Lord and discovering more about ourselves. In September Laura returns to work, but she has changed her days so that she can continue to attend the Bible study. Our prayer is that more women (men are welcome too!) will join us.
Perhaps Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:14 is most applicable. “For this reason I kneel before the Father from whom his whole family in have and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your heard through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep it the love of Christ.”
Rosedale Community Church
*A term Rick Warren from Saddleback Church coined to identify a local move of God