Life is meant to be lived in community. We strive for church to be more than a place where we gather to hear a great message and stirring music. UPC is a place to worship, it is a place to serve, but is also is a place to belong. UPC is a community, an adopted family. It’s easy to get lost in the crowd on Sunday morning, so we have several opportunities to enjoy group life together. These places where you can know others and be known by them. The real you, without pretense or disguise. We have diverse groups for study, for fellowship, and for a wide variety of activities. Below are some of the ways you can get involved in group life at UPC.
At United Presbyterian we know that in order to follow where Jesus leads, large group gatherings are not enough. Life Groups provide the opportunity for us to live as a welcoming community which displays the love of Christ.
Life Group ministry at UPC is about life change; it’s about care; it’s about spiritual growth; it’s about building abiding friendships; it’s about laughter; it’s about service. It’s about growing and being nurtured as followers of Christ together and ushering in something new in the world.
Life Groups are built on three affirmations:
1) In Christ, LIFE HAPPENS TOGETHER. Life Group members celebrate with one another and support one another. We are not designed to live life alone, but in relationships. A Life Group is a place where the love of Christ takes on flesh and is made real with one another.
2) In Christ, LIFE LOOKS DIFFERENT. Life Groups recognize that biblical living does not always align with the culture. A Life Group looks to Scripture to discover what our Creator intended life to look like for those who follow Christ.
3) In Christ, LIFE MEANS GROWTH. Life Groups are committed to going beyond understanding what they discover in Scripture to trying to live it out. Life Group members embrace the adventure of “being transformed into Christ’s likeness with ever increasing glory” (2 Cor. 3:18).
Are you interested in leading or being a part of a Life Group? Please contact Pastor Stephen for more information or to get plugged into a Life Group!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Life Groups and Small Groups the Same Thing?
Yes. At United we try to use the designation Life Group rather than Small Group because we believe it more clearly communicates the focus and nature of what the groups are about: applying faith to life, discovering life, receiving life, and sharing life.
What Happens In a Life Group Meeting?
Every group is different, because life is different. Generally, group meetings begin with a time of gathering and fellowship. Meetings may differ from time to time with fun activities, Bible Study, discussions, sharing about life, and praying together. Your group will decide how often it meets and the types of meetings you have. The goal is for each meeting to have some time for Word-Share-Prayer. That means you’ll read some scripture, share your thoughts, experiences, joys, and concerns, and pray for one another. That may take five minutes or it may take an hour. Every meeting and every group may be different depending on your Life Group’s needs and wants.
Where & When Do Life Groups Meet?
Life Groups meet anywhere: in homes, at church, at restaurants, or fun locations around Peoria. Your group may want to meet on Wednesday evenings at Connecting Point in order to eat together and have time for discussion instead of going to the Connecting Point Class. Your group may decide to meet on Sunday mornings before or after church, or in someone’s house every other week, or once a month. The goal is to meet at least once a month, but your group can meet more than that!
Who Would Be In My Group?
Groups most often consist of 6-12 persons, often in the same general season of life. We try to find or create a group which is a good fit for you. If you have existing positive relationships with others, those can be great starting points for a new group.
How Long Is a Commitment to a Life Group?
For life, of course! Actually, we encourage an initial commitment long enough to give a brand new group a chance to gel (maybe 6 gatherings). Group members are never formally locked in, though groups may stay together in some form for years. If coming into an existing group, you are welcome to visit a group as needed before “joining” to see if you anticipate a good fit.
How Do Life Groups Handle Child Care?
Each Life Group resolves childcare differently. We are aware that the cost and logistics of childcare can be a real hindrance to participation, but we don’t want them to be. A variety of options are available, and we are happy to help you explore them.
How Do I Get Into a Life Group?
Contact Pastor Stephen at . A simple conversation will begin the process of finding or forming the right Life Group for you.
Our Sports Ministry is a great time of outside fellowship and outreach for those who like to participate in athletics and competitive gaming. Depending on the season, we offer various activities. We have open-gym soccer every first Monday of the month at 4:00pm, and basketball every other Sunday at 4:00pm. Volleyball is offered occasionally when there is enough interest. You can join our UPC Sports Facebook Page for information, news, and event notifications.
In addition to open gym times we have fantasy sports leagues throughout the year, bowling nights, a summer softball team, and a shotgun trap league. Please contact the church office if you are interested in learning more about any of these opportunities.
Church Life Activities
Gathering together is an important part of building community. We host numerous activities throughout the year to bring folks with various interests together.
We love to go on Bus Trips: Last year we traveled to Bishop Hill for Spring Jubilee, and to Eureka to the Ronald Reagan Museum, and to Tanner’s Orchard and the Wheels of Time Museum. Future trips are planned to explore the Amish Community, visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, and the Illinois State Capital.
Activities for our families: Bowling Night, Movie Nights, Family Game Nights, Easter Egg Hunt, Family Fun Night for Halloween, Golf outing, Annual Church Picnic.
We also host “How To” Seminars; our past seminars were how to cook an authentic Irish meal, how to service your bicycle, how to canning, and how to arrange silk flowers for Holiday decorating. Many of our activities also serve as outreach to our local community.
Click on Events for current activities of Church Life.