NOTE: SCC members in Africa normally meet every week in one of their homes. Usually it is a Bible Service. Ideally this is a lectionary-based and family-based gathering/meeting. Sometimes food and drink is served. Occasionally there is a pastoral/business meeting. It is not necessary that all the steps be used in each gathering/meeting. Another common method is the Seven-Step Gospel Sharing of Lumko (South Africa).
- Opening prayer or song.
- Brief reports on the members' lives during the past week (called a "touchdown period"). Includes a report on the SCC's actions/tasks (community response) carried out during the previous week.
- Brief introduction of the liturgical theme.
- Read the Gospel of the following Sunday (first time).
- Mention a word, phrase or image in the Gospel that strikes you the most.
- Read the Gospel of the following Sunday (second time).
- Silence. Listening to what God is saying/what God wants to tell us.
- Bible Sharing/Bible Reflection/Bible—Life Connections. Connect, relate and apply the Bible (Gospel) to our daily lives and experience. Sometimes the SCC is a Daily Life--Bible Connections Group. Start with special themes and topics as well as our experiences and events of daily life and then go to the Bible. Use the SEE-JUDGE-ACT process. Both ways are an experience of faith sharing.
- Prayers of the Faithful (General Intercessions).
- Choose a concrete practical action/task (ideally a community response) to be carried out during the next week. Ideally it is connected to/flows from the Gospel text and is closely related to the pastoral priorities and activities of the parish. Examples: visiting the sick, visiting members who rarely come to the SCC, helping needy people, preparing both children and adult for the sacraments, justice and peace actions, self-reliance, etc.
- Closing prayer or song.
- Exchange a Sign of Peace.
NOTE: For a complete description in English see: A Fifth Gospel: The Experience of Black Christian Values. Joseph G. Healey. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1981 and London: SCM Press, 1981. In Swahili see: Kuishi Injili ("Living the Gospel"). Joseph G. Healey. Peramiho: Benedictine Publications Ndanda-Peramiho, 2006. Also available in articles in African Christian Studies (CUEA), Hekima Review (Hekima College) and African Ecclesial Review (AFER). See also the Seven-Step Gospel Sharing Method of Lumko (South Africa) and the steps in the prayer and song book Tumshangilie Bwana. Various dioceses and parishes have developed their own handouts describing the various steps.
More information is available on the:
Small Christian Communities Global Collaborative Website and “Facebook Page”
Updated: 9 January, 2012
Father Joseph Healey, MM is a Maryknoll missionary priest who teaches a course on "Small Christian Communities as a New Model of Church in Africa Today" at Hekima College (Jesuit School of Theology – CUEA) and at Tangaza College (CUEA) in Nairobi, Kenya. He animates Small Christian Communities (SCCs) in Eastern Africa. He is a member of the St. Kizito Small Christian Community in Nairobi. He is the co-editor of Small Christian Communities Today: Capturing the New Moment. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2005 and Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 2006.
Rev. Joseph Healey, M.M
P.O. Box 43058
00100 Nairobi, Kenya
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