The church is a community bound together in love for the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not a collective of individuals who have been saved and have then joined the church; it is a community that existed before the foundation of the world, one chosen by God, which God realized in time by His grace.
From the beginning of time, when God said, 'Let us make man in our image,' it is clear that we are communal relational creatures. Those who have been given life are made to be lovers of God and each other. In fact, we cannot be who we are unless we are identified with other believers. We hear a lot about 'identity' today - our identity is straightforward; we belong to God and to those who are our brothers and sisters in Christ.
It's not surprising then that the church's history, in every generation, has been marked by the gathering of God's people both for public worship and fellowship. The early church experienced it, Acts 2:42-47. As its inception in Scotland, our own church history bears testimony of people gathering together in smaller groups called 'societies' for fellowship and encouragement.
So it is a joy that six new Fellowship Groups have begun in the Ottawa congregation. The simplicity of these weekly groups is seen in the commitment to focus solely on God's Word and prayer, and therein will be the secret of their success and strength.
They have started quietly, but it is likely that the blessing that the Church will experience in the coming years will be traced back among other things, to the starting of these Fellowship Groups in November 2020.
Rev. Dr. Andrew Quigley