Monday, December 4, 2017

Thanksgiving Christmas Post 2017

Hi Small Group Leaders,

Consider this a Christmas/Thanksgiving Card! I've copied a link below. It's a post from Phil Yancey, an author I appreciate. It touched my heart; I hope you enjoy it.  Thank you for all you do!

I also want to let you know that our Small Group Ministry is taking a next step. I have invited our first Coach of Small Groups and she accepted!  Kaye Christianson has been involved in small groups as long as I can remember; she will be a great coach. Thanks, Kaye!

A coach is someone who has assigned to them 2 or 3 small group leaders. The role of a coach is first of all to pray for the ministry and encourage and support small group leaders. They also help trouble shoot the typical concerns and problems that come up for a leader. The coach will connect with their groups 2 to 3 times a year. We have over 60 small groups and it's time to get this important piece of the ministry established especially at the Valley Creek Campus. I am praying for others that could be coaches.

Merry Christmas and God bless!
Mary Lehman, Director of Small Groups, Valley Creek Counter Part
Jan Rygh, Liberty Ridge Small Group Counter Part
Wendy Baumgarn, Oak Hill Small Group Counter Part
Diane Hall, Oak Hill Small Group Counter Part

Below is the article I mentioned -

Monday, May 15, 2017

Summers and Small Groups

What are your plans for your small group this summer?  You have been working on growing friendships and community. Summertime can throw a wrench into things.  But Minnesota summers are so short! Some small groups at WLC take a break – some meet less often – some will meet monthly for a barbecue or picnic. If that’s your plan, encourage your group to study or read their Bibles independently.
No worries, I've got a few suggestions for your group to transition your way through the summer.

Serve together! Can you find a single mom or an older person that you can help with a spring cleanup?
Sponsor a missionary – our youth are taking several trips and can always use support or prayer partners. How about signing up to do the nursery together a couple of times?  This is so hard to staff during the summer time.

Have some fun!  Research some of the free concerts in the area parks to attend. 

Como Park has Grovin’ in the Garden – Wednesday evenings check the website for dates and bands:

Minneapolis has Music in the Parks

Here is a schedule of all the Art Fairs this summer:

Other suggestions are…  Plan to sit together at worship.  Once a month fill a whole row in worship.  Go out for lunch or coffee after.

Saint’s games are always fun and affordable.

Go to an outdoor movie together.

Meet at Black Dog Coffee Saturday morning, then cross the street to visit the Farmer’s Market.

Thank you for all you do!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Campus Counter Part

Campus Counter Part
Did you know, as a Small Group Leader, you have a Campus Counter Part?  Each campus has a designated Counter Part for Small Groups.  They are Naomi Golnitz at Oak Hill Campus; Jan Rygh at Liberty Ridge and Mary Lehman at Valley Creek.  Mary is also the Director of Small Groups for Woodbury Lutheran as a whole.  One of the roles of a Campus Counter Part is to connect with the Small Group Leaders from their campus.
Why meet with your Campus Counter Part you ask?
They can help! They can inform you. They can offer advice.
 It’s good business to offer a help desk or support line.  It works for groups, too. A robust group ministry means people are making friends within the church, but there’s more than that. They serve and support the church.
Every once in a while a group will come up against a problem.  Some examples are noted below.
How can we stay on topic?   How do we help members pray?  How can we end on time?
If you have a question about your group, ask your Counter Part!
Here are a couple of ice breaker questions for your next group meeting(s):
Which historical sporting event would you like to witness?
If you could be brilliant in one subject which would you choose?
What’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen?

Thursday, January 19, 2017

News and An Invitation

Liberty Ridge is on the go!  I attended the first LR worship; the January services are test drives - beginning February 5 is the official launch. I have to say it was amazing.  God showed up and things went great. I was so impressed with the servants and the planning.

One of the responsibilities of Small Group Counter Parts is to connect with and coach Small Group Leaders. I (Mary Lehman) am the Counter part at Valley Creek and for now, Liberty Ridge. Naomi Golnitz is the Campus Count Part for Oak Hill. In the past we've met individually with our Small Group Leaders. We are changing that a bit.

We will be gathering leaders of groups a few at a time on Sunday mornings.  We will check in, share our highs and lows of SG Leadership and encourage each other.  It will help create even more community and we may even learn new things from each other's experience!

I (Mary) will be inviting leaders in batches alphabetically with several dates you can choose from. All you have to do is let me know which of the dates work for you.  I will then confirm with you and we'll meet. My goal is to meet with a leader from each group twice a year. If your group has more than one leader or a co-leader it isn't necessary for both of you to attend.  However, you can if you want!

Naomi will connect and contact with Oak Hill's Small Group Leader's in a similar fashion.

Thank you for all you do!

Here's an icebreaker for your group:  What do you love about your hometown?

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Thank you for all you do!

I’ve got a lot to say this month but first, here is a link to a library of bible studies on my shelf:  Check it out.  Note, I spelled my name wrong… yep, I did.

Small Groups have been growing; we are at 560 for all 3 campuses. Liberty Ridge launched their first small group!

I love to hear your stories – I recently received an email from a leader that has been intentionally using the Discipleship Path to grow the members of their group.  They have a plan in place to take steps to grow deeper into serve. Where is your group growing?

I’ve been a part of New Life Family Services for at least 15 years.  This Laugh for Live event would be great to bring your small group to. I’ve always enjoyed it. The cost is just $10 per person.  Here’s more information.

Laugh for Life – Saturday, February 11th
Please join us for an evening of laughter with a purpose! This family-friendly event brings laughter to all ages, while providing the funds needed to serve women, men and children in our communities with pregnancy-related services.

Our featured comedian is Kerri Pomarolli.”Hollywood’s favorite ‘Good Girl’ is a comedian who has headlined sold out venues nationwide for more than 10 years with her refreshing clean comedy for all audiences. She’s performed with celebrities such as Jay Leno, Jim Carey, and Carol Channing, to name a few.” This event is held at Grace Church, Eden Praire.

Tickets available here:

Reminder:  Hearts and Hands (adult disability ministry) has a service opportunity for a small group in February. Please let them know if you are interested!  If you have questions, email  Jeane Dicke: or Steve and Donna Retter: or or Ashley Bayless:

This month’s ice breaker: What remains undone that you’ve wanted to get done for years?

Mary and Naomi

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Serve, study, get to know each other....

Service opportunity 
Hearts and Hands (adult disability ministry)  has a service opportunity for a small group in February. Please let them know if you are interested!

They need people to help serve dinner on Sunday, February 12, 2017 from 3:30pm-5:30pm, at the Oak Hill Campus. This will be a musical night with a pasta dinner/salad kind of meal.

Most of their guests come from Woodbury and the surrounding area; some come from St. Paul.  They can have up to 50 people (guests/caregivers/volunteers) at an event depending on weather etc.  Their devotion theme for the night is: "Mary and Martha: Friends of Jesus."  It’s a wonderful way to share the love of Jesus.

If people have questions they can email Jeane Dicke: or Steve and Donna Retter or or Ashley Bayless

Online Bible study catalog/library is ready for you!   
Here is the link:
Use this site to search for studies that are available to check out.  Note, there will be a red “Checked Out” notice if another group is using a study.

Once you have chosen one or two, email or call Mary Lehman: 651-739-5144 x201. She will leave your selections at the office receptionist desk at VC or have it sent over to OH with the worship bulletins on the following Sunday morning.  Please return any study you are not using right away – just keep one study once you have chosen it.

Small Group ice breaker idea for your group:
What was your favorite game to play as a child?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Sermon Series Small Group Bible Study

God bless you!

This coming Sunday, October 30th, the all church/small group Bible study will be available.  The title of the series is: Greater Still.  It is 4 weeks long.

You will be able to stream it from our app and our website.

If you prefer DVDs, they will be available in the lobby of VC and OH.

In the past we had a Bible Study for each week that you could use for discussion.  This year we will use the Walking As Disciples Of Jesus devotional book that the pastors have written.  These booklets will be available and handed out for everyone, even if someone is not in a small group.  They will be available this Sunday, the 30th.

The Walking as Disciples of Jesus devotional book has several purposes.  First to be used as a personal 9 day devotional. Second as the tool to provide discussion in your small groups.  When you watch the Worship lesson, you will use the worship foscused pages of the booklet - the same with Grow, Serve and Reach.   The worship, grow, serve and reach logos are clearly printed on each page.
I'm excited about this resource!  It gives us an opportunity to dive in deeper and all be in the same scripture in the same time frame.

It is up to your group to determine if you want to meet weekly for these 4 weeks (I recommend this) or, use it with your current schedule.  You know your group best.

Thanks for being a servant!

Mary Lehman
Director of Small Group Ministry
and Women's Ministry