Do you ever wonder what it must have been like to be part of the closest disciples and friends with Jesus? Imagine what they sounded like, and what they talked about. After a long day of ministering, and they retired to a grove, or a private room, how did they rest, restore, relax, refresh and refocus? What were the fun times like, or, what were the stressful and sad times like?
I know sometimes I might be prone to think that being a Christ follower must have somehow been easier for them, than it is for us. But if we take three of the twelve (Peter, Thomas and Judas) we see that maybe it wasn’t as easy as we might first think. Although they had a living Jesus right with them for three years, we have something infinitely more valuable – the whole counsel of God captured in the written word of God, combined with the Holy Spirit to guide us.
We learn in the earliest accounts of Acts that the believers were committed to what later became the “church” but was originally called a “fellowship”. In this time of intimate community, they “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayer” (2: 42). At Jesse Remington High School, we seek to model this kind of spiritual fellowship in a program we call “Koinonia”, a Greek word that describes the kind of relationship Jesus had with his disciples, and then emulated by the early church.
Koinonia groups meet once a week, many Wednesday mornings of the year. Groups of 4-6 students meet with an adult leader, who serves the students in a mentoring, teaching and shepherding role. Groups meet to fellowship, study Scripture, pray, and simply enjoy a time of accountable spiritual formation in a non-academic forum.
We are blessed to have the leadership of Pastor Joe Cyr from Life Church in Manchester to lead the program, along with the 8 small group leaders who contribute their time, talent and heart to the cause of mentoring fine young people towards a committed walk with Jesus. Koinonia, along with Chapel and Devotions, form the heart of the spiritual formation program at JRHS.
“My Koinonia group is led by Mr. Sohmer, who does an amazing job at teaching, and always makes it fun to be in his group. He teaches in a very clear and understandable way that helps me learn a lot from each Koinonia. He treats us all equally, and helps us all to grow through his teaching.” Andrew ‘20
"Koinonia has been one of the most valuable and memorable experiences of my time at Jesse Remington. Starting my freshmen year, I truly appreciated the relationships I could have with a small group of girls and our wonderful leader, Mrs. Dow, who was like a mother to me, and bestowed her Biblical wisdom to us each week. For my upper classmen years, I have experienced the joy of Mrs. Higgins as a leader, who has blessed me immensely through weekly emails and reminders to keep my focus on the Lord. When I was younger, I always admired the older girls who led the devotion some weeks. Now as a Senior, I have that same opportunity and see how my faith has grown immensely due to this wonderful time on Wednesday mornings." Ellie ‘19
“Mr. Clark is my direct and precise Koinonia leader. He makes each session unique with real-world applications and his vast life experiences. He makes it his mission to work the gospel message into each one of the lessons.” Ben ‘20
"Koinania for me, is a time where we can check up on eachother and pray for each other when the week is challenging. It’s a time where we can feel welcomed and important. Where we can trust the people around us. Most importantly it’s a time where we can get to know God more and experience His love." Amanda '20
"I really enjoy getting to know the other students on a deeper level, and how transparent everyone is with their trials. I appreciate how honest our leader, Mrs. Carlson, is about her life. The value of intentionally setting aside time to examine God's Word together is encouraging, and oftentimes you find out that you are not alone in your struggles." Leah Joy '19