Community The Secret to Building Community


You might spot them some evening line-dancing or on the lake. You might even run into them at a Summer Carmel Gazebo Concert.

No matter the venue or activity, this mighty band of women will be doing what small groups do best: connecting, caring, and calling each other to more.

Karen Whisler has lead this group of women since 2008. From the moment you meet her, you’ll see that she is spunky, spirited, and strong. There’s no doubt she’s a leader and one of our best.

I recently asked Karen her secret to creating and maintaining a healthy small group community. She quickly responded:   

Leading is really about being myself. With a willingness to share the doubts, fears, pain, and experiences that have been my faith journey.

Looking back at her early years leading, I saw Karen grieve a painful loss. A few years later, a health scare threatened her family. All the while I saw her lean deeply into her faith and community, allowing God to care for her heart. 

The result? Her heart has remained peaceful, vulnerable, soft, and strong. As Karen has shared the deeper places in her heart, the women in her group have found the courage to open up and share theirs.

Karen’s group has experienced a tremendous amount of pain and suffering. Don’t get me wrong - life is hard for all of us. But Karen’s group has suffered from a number of tragedies. It seems impossible that one group of twelve women could endure so much.

But rather than threaten to dissolve their community, the circumstances of life seems to have knit them together in a powerful posse of fast friends. They not only remain together, they are stronger than ever. 

If you ever get the chance to meet these women, you’ll quickly notice they are spunky, spirited, strong, and deeply committed to walking through life together.

See how you can get involved at Grace.


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