What are Small Christian Communities?
They are parish based groups of 5-8 families or about 20 individuals from the neighbourhood who meet on regular weekly basis to pray, listen to the Word of God and respond to their Christian calling to become a gift, missionary disciples and a blessing to others through spiritual, social, economic and psychological support.
Small Christian Communities are parish initiatives and are not another program that parish makes available but they are a new way of being parish, being Church. Every Small Christian Community is connected with a juridical parish under the pastor (Parish Priest). Every parish has several groups effectively organized by the pastor.
Members attend Eucharist and parish activities, and they regularly have home masses on rotational basis. In their weekly regular meetings they pray, listen to the Word of God and share life experiences in the spirit of the Gospel.
In the Diocese of Meru, Kenya, Small Christian Communities have an interest to stir the hearts of the Christians to burn with fire of the Spirit to bring a new future for the church, families, institutions and communities. Small Christian Communities form the Christians to offer food to the hungry, shelter the homeless, clothe the naked, visit the lonely and comfort the infirm. They foster the spirit to do that among the faithful in the Catholic Diocese of Meru. They are a pastoral strategy in the Diocese to respond to the pastoral concerns of the faithful and promote Christian bonding.
They are modeled on the church as a communion or as the family of God. They are vital instruments and outlets of evangelization in Meru Diocese following the model of the early Christian community who met to pray, listen to the Word of God, break bread together and share their blessings with one another (Acts 2:42-46). They try to live the brotherhood and sisterhood of the early Christian community who every day were of one heart and met regularly in their homes (Acts 2:46).
- Why are Small Christian Communities important In Meru Diocese?
The Diocese is vast covering 9,922km2 with a population of 937,709 (37%) who are Catholics as of 2018. To promote evangelization through social activities, the Diocese uses the strategy of SCCs to reach a wider population of people.
Parish leaders are elected from the SCCs level which enables the laity to be part of decision making and therefore promoting participatory leadership in the parishes. Parish leaders make deanery leadership and then deanery leaders elect Diocesan leaders.