Sunday, October 14, 2012
Small Christian Communities
The small Christian community is an important way of energizing parish life, but to do this obstacles have to be faced and removed. This year is the twentieth anniversary of their formal acceptance as a pastoral method in Korea. Three dioceses met together to prepare a future vision of working with small groups. The positive elements are the empowering of lay people, giving them the tools for fellowship and for sharing Scripture with each other.
- steps used in the group meetings are too difficult to follow
- what is said does not always stay within the group and causes divisions
- few attend
- the atmosphere is autocratic
- the young are missing
- interest depends too much on the pastor
- those who can lead are few
- adequate understanding of the small group movement is missing
- failure to educate for attendance
- find ways to move the hearts of those attending
- use of better notification methods
- empowering the group leaders
- find ways to deal with abuses
- training new leaders and giving them a definite time limit as leaders
The small group approach is a good way to evangelize. The group members hear the word, share, meditate, and are motivated to spread the word. The combined diocesan understanding was that these small group meetings are the seed bed for evangelizing, and the hope for the Church. The group meetings are not limited to the fellowship within the group but are to extend beyond their own borders to the world outside.
However, the problems associated with this are enormous; the world is dark and confused. Materialism and hedonism are rampant and continually influences us. Secular values are overcoming traditional values and the religious meaning of life is diminished. Within this environment, people are losing the meaning of life and becoming disorientated. Being a light to the world is no easy task.
The three dioceses have given us some tasks and proposals to consider: The words of Scripture and the Eucharist should be our strength in working to change the world. Organizations and principles, the living of the faith, and examples of success should be shared with others. Small groups should look forward to seeing what we are faced with in the world and determine to do something about it.
In conclusion, they see the small communities as the future Church, putting into practice what the Council expected of us: to be the light to the world. After twenty years, we are just beginning.