What is a Faith Community ?
A Faith Community is simply a group of people who feel the need to have an ongoing spiritual experience beyond what they received from their religious upbringing.
It is a group of people who recognize that life on earth is really a pilgrimage, a journey of spiritual life which lasts a lifetime - and which needs to be nurtured constantly by liturgy, prayer, spiritual reading, sharing the faith and by growing in the knowledge, understanding and experience of God.
Such people come together for that growing experience acknowledging that, as a community we grow best in the midst of others who share the same quest. We grow best when we learn from others. We grow each time we gather together, for we are promised that whenever two or more are gathered in the name of Christ, He will be present.
What does a Faith Community do?
As a Faith Community we gather together to pray and to share with one another. At times we expand our knowledge and appreciation of our religious life through various electronic media, by studying Scripture, intensifying prayer life or other materials which help us to grow in our spiritual life.
Meetings can practical while others may be very real experiences of prayer and insight.
No matter what the activity or the subject matter, we have the Small Faith Community as a support group. We are there for each other. Caring is evident in each meeting.
The Faith Community is a reflection of the early Church when it was said that you could identify Christians because they had love and concern for one another.
We help each other grow spiritually, and that growth helps us in our daily lives along with the challenges and opportunities we face each day.
How can I get started?
The organizational part of it is a fairly simple procedure. Just invite others to join you for a short time together: to pray and share your thoughts on how to be spiritual in your every day activities.
The usual format can be:
- Opening Prayer
- Share the Week Presentation of Materials
- Response to Materials
- Refreshment Break
- Prepared guided questions or guided meditation on materials used
- If a priest is available, Holy Liturgy could be offered
- Blessing to go forth
How many are needed for a small faith community is again determined by “where two or more are gathered, the Lord will be in their midst”.
WE WOULD BE HAPPY TO ASSIST YOU IN FINDING SUITED MATERIALS, VARIOUS GUIDED MEDITATION AND PRAYER THOUGHTS, OPENING AND CLOSING PRAYERS TO HELP YOU GET STARTED.
Once you have established a steady community in your home or elsewhere, you may want to consider incardinating your Small Faith Community into the diocese, so you may receive further support and recognition.
Whatever you do to build a real sense of community will enhance your work environment and the lives of those involved in your community.
We encourage you to entertain the possibility of beginning a small faith community. One person with a big heart may have the courage or calling to begin -- the Holy Spirit will continue the work through you.