The Akron/Rothsville care group is a diverse group of people, ranging in ages (1-80?), occupations (hairdresser, homemakers, driver for the Amish, IT, counselor, restoration work, auto repair and more), and interests (motorcycles, guitars, quilting, gardening, art, biking, and travel). With all of our differences, there is a bond that continues to brings us together two evenings a month throughout the year – love for our Lord Jesus Christ. Over the years we’ve been with each other through births, deaths, acute and chronic illnesses, weddings, graduations, family difficulties, and all kinds of trials and joys. Our group has seen many changes over the years, with sad goodbyes to some and gladly welcoming new members. It has been a joy to see each new group enter into true fellowship because of the common bond we share in Christ. We meet corporately twice a month, with the children having a grand time outside and in the Wengers’ basement. There was a season when we experimented with no snack, but we have found that food sometimes has an amazing way of drawing people together and causing them to linger. So snack is served before, during and after the meeting. :) Our meeting opens with friendly chatting as people arrive, followed by Randy’s unsuccessful attempts to rein everyone in for worship. We’re blessed to be led in worship by Ed Shoff. After worship we usually spend some time catching up with each other and talking about the “front burner issues” in our lives. At times we’ll pray for one another, and then we’ll talk about the sermon and the discussion questions. We love seeing CG members share openly and humbly and then receive encouragement from the others. It’s truly the body of Christ at work!
Our members include Ed and Pat Shoff, Curtis and Sallie Butler, Tim and Cathy Krauter, Mike and Diane Shelly, Sam and Chrissy Ovalle, Dan and Carol Davis, Guy and Jill Wilson, Jean Griswold, and Randy and Tina Wenger (and all the respective children).
Among the joys of being together is seeing God at work in people’s lives in amazing ways that can only be attributed to the hand of God. While we’d like to honor every couple, we are going to choose just one, Guy and Jill Wilson. It’s typically hard to develop relationships at a new church or to want to do the work to make that happen. But from the moment that they joined our caregroup, they were faithful to attend nearly every meeting. And they are examples in making relationships happen. Rather than fellowshipping just on “required” nights, they invite families from caregroup, host parties, and have been known to just stop by. God’s fingerprints are on this love of His people because Guy and Jill would have plenty of excuses to prevent this from happening. Not only do they both get up early for work, but they both have significant health issues including migraine headaches and chronic pain. But rather than being characterized as complainers, they are full of love, joy, and service. We’re a rich group to have the Wilsons and a room full of other men and women marked by God’s grace.