By Joseph Healey and Febian Pikiti
“Small Christian Communities are very dear to my heart”…“Building Christian Communities has been a deliberate pastoral priority in the AMECEA Region”…At this workshop you are going to consider the most important aspect of our Christian life in the AMECEA Region — Small Christian Communities. I urge you to honestly evaluate how SCCs have helped to deepen the evangelizing mission in AMECEA.”
With these challenging words Archbishop Tarsizio Ziyaye, the Chairman of AMECEA and Archbishop of Lilongwe, Malawi officially open a three-day National SCCs Workshop on the theme “SCCs Embrace the Word of God” at the Bethany Centre in Lilongwe, Malawi on 17 December, 2013. The 32 participants included representatives from all eight dioceses and various national Catholic organizations including: one archbishop, 10 priests, one religious sister, 11 laymen and nine laywomen. The workshop was sponsored by the Pastoral Department of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) in conjunction with the Pastoral Department of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA).
It is the second in a series of national SCCs Workshops in the nine AMECEA countries. The SCCs Workshop was facilitated by Father Febian Pikiti and Father Joseph Healey, MM.
In the spirit of “learning by doing” participants formed four SCCs (St. Monica, St. Maria Goretti, St. Jude Thaddeus and St. Peter the Apostle) for four separate sessions:
Highlights included two SCCs Masses with plenty of participation, Bible Reflection and faith sharing; a session on “The Importance of the Social Media in SCCs” including an online presentation of the Small Christian Communities Global Collaborative Website and “Facebook Page” (www.
Follow-up action has started that includes downloading the free Ebook on “SCCs in Africa” with its 20 “Resource Materials on On-going Formation and Training of SCC Members” into computers and flash drives for use throughout Malawi.
An enduring symbol of the workshop was the Opening Song. All the participants joined hands and sang “Bind Us Together, Lord” – the theme song of SCCs around the world.