Small Christian Communities (SCC) are made up of 6-12 parishioners who come together usually weekly in homes, at the parish, at assisted living centers, or in restaurants to share faith – the activity of God in their lives – and to be prepared and encouraged in their mission to “go out into the whole world and share the Good News.”
SCCs have as their foundation the formation of Christ with the apostles: the gathering of the early Christians who met in homes to share the gospel and “the breaking of bread” and who then, supported in faith, reached out to others in service.
“We now consider the way of life of the first Christian community. (In Acts of the Apostles) Saint Luke presents the Church of Jerusalem, gathered in response to the Apostles’ preaching, as the paradigm of all Christian communities. As brothers and sisters in Christ, the first believers “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42). Luke portrays a community united in prayer, fraternity, charity and concern for those in need. In every age, the Church is called to be the leaven of a reconciled humanity and the foreshadowing of a world of authentic justice and peace. In this way, she is enabled to live an authentic liturgical life, experiencing the Risen Lord’s presence in prayer and in the Eucharist, in order then to bring that saving love to the world. Like the early Church gathered around the Apostles, may our communities increasingly become places of deep prayer, encounter with the Lord and fellowship with our brothers and sisters, doors that open to the communion of the saints and the heavenly Jerusalem.” (Pope Francis, General Audience, 26 June 2019)
SCCs focus on Scripture to pray, reflect, and discuss how the Word of God is relevant today and especially to each participant. After opening with a prayer, most groups proclaim the Sunday readings and study the Commentaries prepared by Father Eamon Tobin – – click here to go to the Commentaries (available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese). There you will find faith-sharing questions that seek to connect the readings to daily lives, as well as a link to Guidelines for Facilitators.
There are SCCs meeting every day – in the morning, afternoons and evenings. Some meet seasonally, others break for the summer and still others continue all year long. Many have been together for many years and have formed strong bonds and lasting friendships.
Father Tobin has written these Additional Resources for Reflection in Small Groups:
Commentaries on Sunday Readings
Commentaries on Books of the Old Testament
Study of the Mass (a four-page introduction to the Mass available in English and Spanish)
Miscellaneous Articles - Topics including:
Father Tobin has written three books adapted as resources for use in Small Groups.
For information, contact Ken Jagdmann at [email protected] or by phone at (321) 652-8049.