What are Small Christian Communities (SCC)?

Small Christian Communities are a unique way for parishioners to share in their Faith Journey with other members of St. Monica.  People who come together to form Small Christian Communities provide mutual support to each other, foster strong relationships, and encourage each other to grow in faith, while creating a sense of belonging to the parish. 

These are not new concepts for the Church.  From the earliest beginnings of our Faith, Christians met in small groups in each other's homes to share faith and break bread.

"Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved."
- ACTS 2:46-47

Father Thumma views the development of Small Christian Communities as a crucial part of the overall pastoral direction set by parish leaders. This direction envisions St. Monica as a "community made up of many small communities, praising God and sharing goodwill among the people" centered in the Eucharist and committed to ministry.

This invitation for everyone to form Small Christian Communities stems from our pastoral planning and a recognition that families at St. Monica Church are seeking ways to connect with the parish community and grow in their Faith.  Our own parish shares a humble beginning as a small church community and mission church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Selma.  Since our founding in 1960, we have grown to over 1,500 families and are welcoming new members to our church every day.

Now, we are excited to launch this new form of parish life for everyone at St. Monica to embrace, gathering parishioners together to share faith and support each other.

Questions about forming or finding a group? Contact us and fill out form!

Headshot
Tony Canez
Small Christian Community Coordinator

RESOURCES

Background of Small Christian Communities

A Small Christian Community (SCC) is a group of eight to fourteen adults who gather in homes to discuss their lives in the light of the Gospel and to share their Christian faith through prayer, friendship and service.

Originally Christians lived their faith within small home-based communities. Gathered around their bishop, the community was small enough to allow a deep sharing of life and faith. When the bishop's community became larger, the Church soon appreciated its need to divide into small groups--parishes. Now the parish community is in the same situation in which the bishop's community historically found itself, and so at St Monica we are dividing into Small Christian Communities where quality sharing of faith and life can take place.

Are Small Christian Communities Bible Study?

Scripture reading is a part of the SCC format, but SCC's are not Bible Study groups.

SCC scripture readings correspond to the Sunday Mass readings, and are reflected upon (informally) by the group in the week prior to the readings, creating an opportunity to enrich the learning from the scriptures at Mass.

Small Christian Communities are involved in the following four activities:

  • Community: a sincere involvement in one another's lives.
  • Reflection on Scripture and the teaching of the Church.
  • Prayer and anticipation in the liturgical life of the community and the parish.
  • Service both within and beyond the community.

Emmaus Journey Logo 600wide 336633

A FREE small-group bible study on the Sunday Mass readings, Reflecting on Sunday's Readings introduces participants to small-group discussion materials based on the Scripture passages used in the upcoming Sunday's Mass. Each passage is printed along with a few questions designed to engage the heart and stimulate discussion. The monthly download is FREE and studies can be reproduced as needed for your study group.

https://emmausjourney.org/sundays_reading.php

 

Cropped Catholicbible Logo Black Green

Lectio Divina (literally divine reading) is a way of becoming immersed in the Scriptures very personally. It draws on the way Jews read the Haggadah, a text read during Passover that retells the Exodus story. Haggadah means “telling” and along with being a physical text, the word captures the practice of telling and retelling a story.

The Christian form of Lectio Divina was first introduced by St. Gregory of Nyssa (c 330- 395), and also encouraged by St. Benedict of Nursia (c 480-547), the founder of the Benedictine order. It’s a way of developing a closer relationship with God by reflecting prayerfully on His words. In Lectio Divina, the chosen spiritual text is read four times in total, giving an opportunity to think deeply about it and respond thoughtfully. 

When we practice Lectio Divina, we can imagine we’re actually involved in the events of Scripture — for example, hearing God’s words to the Israelites in the desert. It’s an intensely personal experience.

How to Pray the Bible: The Four Steps of Lectio Divina

Como orar con la Biblia: Los cuatros pasos de Lectio Divina


Lectio Divina in English

Lectio Divina en Español

 

Small Christian Community Interest