The History of Small Christian Communities
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ instruction and the communal life, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”
Since the time of Jesus, who gathered a small band of twelve, small communities have been an important dimension of church life. Small Christian Communities promote growth in love for God and one another through the six elements of an Small Christian Community: Prayer, Scripture, Learning, Faith Sharing, Support and Service (Active Discipleship). These Communities offer an environment to aid each other in recognizing how God is always present in our lives and aid it’s members to grow in Holiness, offering Hope and extending Hospitality to all.
St. Peter the Apostle Parish has long chosen to foster the involvement of its members in Small Christian Communities, reminiscent of the early Church. The larger parish church then experiences itself as a community of communities. This image is expressed most concretely as the communities come together in service of others, care and concern for one another, and in the celebration of the Sunday Eucharist. Most communities meet monthly on a day of their choice between 11/2 to 2hrs. Others meet with varying frequency. There are a variety of types of communities which have various emphases such as families with children, centering prayer, service to the poor, or other interests.
♦ The communities strive to live up to their name… they are inclusive, inviting and comfortable.
♦ There is an atmosphere of listening rather than of discussion and are secured by an act of trust on the part of the members, supporting confidentiality.
♦ They are energized by prayer, the word of God in Scripture and the presence of the Holy Spirit.
♦ They respect the members’ questions and quests, rather than seek answers or solutions to personal problems.
♦ They are embodiments of community in all of its giftedness, and all of its challenge.
Yes, a Small Christian Community can encourage and enable you to ground your life in the Christian story and to integrate faith with your everyday life. We invite you to come and experience how a Small Christian Community can nourish and challenge you on your personal faith journey.