Simple and sweet. Profoundly moving.

Those are the words Ruth Vanderhart uses to describe the intergenerational small group she attends—a group that originated more than 20 years ago as a “Care Group.” As Ruth explains, “Like most churches, ours [Grace Church, Grand Rapids, MI) is invited into Care Groups that are assigned to an elder. Every three year the elder changes, but the care group remains constant—with the exception of those who leave and new members.”

Currently their group has members has members in their 50’s-70’s and several young families with small children. They meet once a month on a Saturday night to enjoy a meal and socialize with each other. The location alternates as various group members host the evening and provide a simple main course such as soup or stew; the rest of the group contributes the remainder of the meal. After the meal the group goes around the circle to give updates on their lives and to offer prayer requests before they close in prayer together.

Sound simple? It is! And as Ruth points out, it’s also faith nurturing: “It's given me a deep appreciation for how God is moving in the lives of these people I worship with on Sunday.  And their stories have definitely helped me grow spiritually. Currently the children are too small to actively share, but they are a wonderful presence at the event.  I think we learn a ton from each other!”