PROGRAMS & RETREATSSmall Faith Groups
St. Francis of Assisi parishioners enrich their spiritual life each Lent by participating in the annual Lenten Small Faith Groups program. In 2020, the small group guide is Having Mercy from The Pastoral Center Lectionary Series. There are five sessions, and each contain a different focus on mercy. The guide prompts personal reflection, discussion, different ways to pray, and includes suggestions to carry what you have learned and discussed into your week.
The concept of the program is very basic, which contributes to its success. Hosts simply invite their friends, neighbors, family members, or even people they sit next to every Sunday, into their home for approximately an hour each week for five weeks. Hosts choose whether or not to open additional spaces in their group to people who may be new to the area and are looking to join a group near their home.
St. Francis of Assisi parish provides a complimentary copy of the guide to each registered Host, and booklets for each participant free of charge. The guide contains everything needed, including prayers, content, Scripture passages, prompts for discussion and enrichment material. There is no training or experience necessary for Hosts or participants.
Small Faith Groups
What are these groups?
We live our faith as disciples of Christ in our homes, in our work and in our daily lives. Small faith groups provide the opportunity to learn and discuss our faith with our friends we encounter every day in the convenient setting of our home, a nearby coffee shop, or other local meeting space, Gathering as a large community at Mass is central to living our faith in communion with God and one another. Small faith groups allow us the chance to get to know the people we worship beside, in the pews. The people we connect with in these groups often become close friends and provide support on a level other friends might not understand. There are groups who have met for years and continue to find new things to discuss and new ways to support one another in living life as a true disciple.
How do I form a small faith group?
It’s easy!! Simply invite neighbors or friends or colleagues, or even the parishioners in your Sunday pew, into your home. Group size is typically 4-10 people. Some people choose to meet for coffee, some offer beer and snacks, and others rotate houses for full meals. It’s your group, so the way you decide to gather is up to you. The faith discussion is usually 60 – 90 minutes, yet that is flexible as well. It depends upon the topic and the lives of the people you include. You may choose to meet weekly or bi-weekly or monthly…once again it’s your choice. If you need help, we are here for you.
What do we talk about in our group?
There are so many options. An easy, ongoing idea is to look ahead at the readings for the next Sunday and discuss them ahead of time. Another idea is to look for published resources. You will find a link to some of these at the bottom of this page. Ave Maria Press has several books designed for Small Faith Groups. There are also general resources listed on the Adult Faith Formation Page which can stimulate conversation in a small group setting. As a parish, we organize an annual study during Lent. Details are provided on this website. However, there is no reason to wait! Pick a resource that looks interesting, invite people over and enjoy the fellowship and growth in your journey toward discipleship.
Small Group Resources