What Is a Small Church Community?
A Small Church Community (SCC) is a small group of adults who gather to reflect on their lives in the light of the Gospel and to share their Christian faith through prayer, friendship and service. The early Christians gathered in small groups, most frequently in a home. That experience allowed for a deep sharing of faith and life.
|"It seems entirely timely, therefore, to form ecclesial (church) communities and groups of a size that allow for true human relationships... In such a context it will be easier to hear the word of God, to reflect on the range of human problems in the light of this word, and gradually to make responsible decisions inspired by the all embracing love of Christ."|
- Pope John Paul II
Today, SCCs facilitate that deep sharing in the presence of trusted friends. Relationships are formed in which sharing, listening and genuine communication are nurtured. The sharing of faith and life leads to action on behalf of others.
Small Church Communities are diverse in membership with single and married, young, middle-age and older people gathering together. Life is strengthened by participation in Small Church Communities. The rich diversity of age, gender, and lifestyle present when the parish gathers for Liturgy is also reflected in Small Church Communities. Approximately 250 people in 33 groups are currently involved in Small Church Communities within St. Paul.
How Do I Join?
Yearly all parishioners are invited to participate in an initial experience of Small Church Community, generally during the fall and during the Lenten season. However, interested people may become members of existing SCCs at any time during the year. For additional information, please call the Parish Office at 614-882-2109 or e-mail Mary Reichley, Pastoral Associate, at email@example.com.
How Often Do They Meet?
After an initial six-week introductory experience, the average is twice monthly, usually in the homes of community members. Meeting times vary in respect to time of day and the day of the week. Parishioners are also welcome to sign up for an already existing small church community.
|A SCC lunch-time group enjoying an hour of sharing.|
Each SCC is unique in its membership, style, and meeting format, every SCC is involved in the following:
The element of prayer emphasizes the centrality of God's presence and action in each small Christian community member's life and in the life of the community itself.
Sharing means being open to talk freely about God and about life experiences, and to reflect on these in the light of Scripture and Tradition.
In a society in which gospel values are all too frequently ridiculed and rejected, the believer needs a community that is supportive of these value. The small church community encourages fidelity to the Gospel and also challenges itself and its members to a more authentic commitment to Christian living.
Because small church communities are part of the wider church they are called to an ever fuller knowledge and understanding of the Gospel and of the Catholic Church and its teaching on faith and morals, and of the relationship of that teaching to the circumstances and issues of their lives.
Small church communities are, like Jesus, committed to a life of love. As a group or through its individual members it reaches out beyond itself to make a difference in the world.