Small Christian Communities (SCC) are a way of being church to each other, not just on Sunday but every day. This is not a new concept: early Christians met in small groups in each other's homes to share faith and break bread.
"Where two or three come together in my name, I am there with them." Matthew 18:20
Development of small Christian communities is part of the overall pastoral direction set by the Pastoral Council and the Pastoral Staff. This direction envisions Good Shepherd parish as a "community of small communities," centered in the Eucharist and committed to ministry.
The move towards small Christian communities grew out of dramatic increase in the number of families at Good Shepherd parish during the late 1980's. From a small church community, where most families seemed to know each other, the parish grew to over 1,200 families (and now exceeds 2,900 families).
A group of parishioners, along with pastor Fr. Michael Foley, began to study how other parishes were meeting the challenge of creating a truly supportive community of service with such a large church membership. Following a Parish Vision Retreat and many months of meetings with parishioners, the first SCC groups were formed.
Today, numerous SCC exist at Good Shepherd, gathering parishioners together to share faith and support each other.
Unlike a small group, Small Christian Communities usually emphasize social change by the power of Christ's gospel. SCC is focused on "Christians coming together for prayer, Scripture reading, catechesis and discussion on human and ecclesial problems with a view to a common commitment. These communities are a sign of vitality within the Church, an instrument of formation and evangelization, and a solid starting point for a new society based on 'civilization of love.'" (Pope John Paul II)
Life in a SCC is simply our baptismal brotherhood and sisterhood lived out practically with a few people. Together, we share God's word, the Eucharist, prayer, our posessions, our gifts, time and meals. In an SCC, we share daily life by sharing:
There are basically three types of SCC, which can be found at Good Shepherd parish: