The Territorial Women’s Department led a soft launch of a new small group ministry called Embrace in early February. Originally created by the USA Central territory, Embrace is an outreach program intended to bring together diverse groups of people to share a meal together and then engage in a guided discussion around a central topic which changes each month.

The hope is that these discussions will foster true community and meaningful connections between people of different ages and backgrounds who might not normally spend time together.

“The point is to promote authentic community beyond your normal circle,” Captain Maureen Diffley, who has spearheaded the program in the south, said. “If you’re normally separated by age group or program, this is an opportunity to meet new people in your corps.”

Embrace is designed to be a once monthly gathering of up to 12 people who commit to meeting at each other’s homes for a 7 month period. Each group member should rotate hosting as a means of developing leadership and fostering close relationships.

“It’s an invitation to a deeper way of relating and a tool to help us think deeply,” Diffley said.

Though originally designed with women in mind, Embrace groups do not have to be gender specific.  Mixed groups can offer a good opportunity to develop community in the corps and might possibly appeal to couples more than separate men’s and women’s groups.

“It’s not a program, it’s showing up for a meal,” Diffley said. “Embrace provides a platform where transformation can happen.”

If you are interested in starting an Embrace group at your corps, visit to download materials and learn more about this new ministry.  Flashdrives with this material were sent to each division for distribution to corps officers on February 1st.