Today, Christians of all denominations enjoy participating in small-group bible study in addition to attending services at a larger church. Many who participate in such groups see them as forums for building close relationships within the church, and ways to help further their understanding of scriptural teachings.
Biblical accounts of characters such as Noah, Moses, and Jesus suggest a valuation of small-group fellowship, however small groups had a very different function in Early Christianity than they do today. In the earliest days of Christianity, worship groups had to be small because there were few (if any) dedicated buildings for worship. This meant believers had to hold services in existing houses or other spaces.
Much later, as the Protestant reformation began to brew during the 17th century, reformers (including John Calvin and Martin Luther) urged their followers to meet in small groups outside the established churches, which many viewed as spiritually corrupt.
Today, however, it is simply a great chance to build relationships in the church, and to learn about the theology and beliefs that make up your faith.
About Anthony Freddura
An active parishioner of the Grace Chapel congregation in Lexington, Massachusetts, Anthony Freddura participates in the church’s musical performances as well as its bible study groups. In addition to his private worship activities, Freddura lends his time to community outreach efforts that support less-fortunate community members.
In today’s business world, a business systems analyst combines a working knowledge of information technology principles and of business processes to ensure that a business runs smoothly and efficiently as possible in all departments. The role requires that the analyst take the needs of employees, clients, company stakeholders or shareholders, and the market all into consideration.
Among a business systems analyst’s many responsibilities are the following:
– ‘Big-picture planning’: Basically, ensuring that a company stays on track to meeting its stated goals. An analyst looks for problems, or things that might be potential problems, in systems and technology. Inefficient data storage, for example, could hamper a business’s future growth.
– Examination of policies and processes: Here, the analyst looks at the intricate systems that govern how each aspect of a business runs. All of the departments of a business should store data in the same way, and if they do not, the business might not be running as efficiently as it could.
– Design of improved policies and processes: After identifying limiting behaviors, the analyst suggests more efficient systems, like a unified data management system.
About Anthony Freddura:
Anthony Freddura has been working in business systems, IT, and quality analysis roles since 1995. Today, Freddura serves as a senior-level Business Systems Analyst with Waltham, Massachusetts-based MultiPlan, Inc.
Anthony Freddura, a senior systems business analyst for the Massachusetts health care cost-management company MultiPlan, Inc., not only leads multiple strategic initiatives but is instrumental in the development of those initiatives’ documentation, a critical but often overlooked aspect of digital business solutions. A graduate of Massachusetts’ Stonehill College, he has worked for such firms as Brown Brothers Harriman, Fidelity Investments, Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard, Genentech, and Iron Mountain. Anthony Freddura enjoys a broad range of interests outside the office and enthusiastically participates in the music ministry of the Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts.
Although little is known about the music at the time of Christ, evidence suggests it was simple, presented as a single melody, sometimes accompanied by a drum. After Jesus’ time and the development of Christianity into a power in Europe, most music was developed for the church and was meant to complement Jesus’ message and the church’s teachings.
Musical expression developed over time and became more sophisticated, while retaining its melodic simplicity. A good example of this is the famous chants of the Gregorian monks. Another major development, which came about in the mid-1100s, was polyphony, or the simultaneous playing of two separate melodies. This style of music can be traced to a single composer, a Frenchman named Leonin, who worked for the Cathedral of Notre Dame.
While modern congregations might consider polyphony staid or quaint, it aroused a great deal of controversy in its time. Many objected, insisting that the new approach placed more importance on the music than on the underlying Christian message. Polyphony was too flashy, they said, and the controversy continued for hundreds of years. In his blog, Anthony Freddura points out an interesting parallel between Leonin’s invention and the more recent adoption by Christian congregations of rock music. This experimentation with rock music as a way of appealing to younger congregants met with controversy and outright hostility from some, but gained general acceptance in far less than the hundreds of years it took for the controversy surrounding polyphony to diminish.
A non-denominational church, Grace Chapel has campuses in Lexington and Wilmington, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1948, when its total congregation was only a few households. Today, approximately 3,000 people go to Grace Chapel each Sunday.
The Grace Chapel puts forward several beliefs. For example, it believes that the Bible holds the highest authority in all matters concerning Christian faith and practice. It also believes that God created all people and that people have alienated themselves from God, and it is now time to reconcile.
An active part of the Greater Boston community, Grace Chapel provides numerous programs aimed at helping others. It offers financial counseling, and it played an integral part in the development of the church partnership network, Greater Things for Greater Boston. On a global scale, the church also conducts several mission trips each year.
About Anthony Freddura: Mr. Freddura participates in many of the volunteer programs offered by Grace Chapel, including the monthly SoulFood program, which supplies food and clothes to underserved members of the Boston community.