Now that you’ve got daily time for God and weekly time to celebrate Him at Mass, I’d like to talk about making time for a Small Group. After putting all of your non-negotiables on your calendar like daily time with God, Mass, work, and school,look and see where you can find time for (a weekly 90-minute Small Group meeting.) about 90 minutes a week for a Small Group meeting.
After St. Mary’s “Launch into Purpose” Fall Launch event on September 19th, we’ll be re-launching Small Groups for Fall. These Small Groups will begin with The Purpose Driven Life. Father Scott VanDerveer’s Homilies will also include messages from this series. We’ll continue on with our Small Groups after this program, and extend through the Easter Season. Some of the women’s groups will continue with Walking with Purpose, and some of the mixed and men’s groups will continue with other focuses.
Now, you might be asking yourself, “Why do I need to take part in a Small Group if I’m already spending time with God by myself each day and attending Mass?” Well, the truth is, we were made for fellowship.
An excerpt from a devotional I’m currently reading called, Living Changed: Provision, says it well: “He could produce out of thin air whatever it is we need, but He chooses to work through imperfect individuals to bless us… God created us to live in community with other believers. Keeping Jesus at the center of friendships gives Him more ways to provide for us and allows us to be a blessing to others while building our faith.”
If you’ve never had the blessing of being a part of a Small Group, let me tell you that your soul needs this. I had the pleasure of being a part of Walking with Purpose for three years in a row, and after taking a year off during COVID, my soul craved that time of sharing with others, forming meaningful connections with other Christians and digging deeper into my faith and purpose.
You may also be thinking, “Well gee, Melissa, aren’t Small Groups a Protestant thing?” Small Groups are as old as the New Testament communities, beginning with Jesus and His Apostles.
Blessed John Paul II taught:
So that all parishes...may be truly communities of Christians, local ecclesial authorities ought to foster… small, basic or so-called “living” communities, where the faithful can communicate the Word of God and express it in service and love to one another; these communities are true expressions of ecclesial communion and centers of evangelization in communion with their pastors.
Small Groups are a place where our big church can get small and personal, and where you can be known, loved, and cared for. That Small Group I was a part of truly loved and cared for each other. Baby Sprinkles were thrown when one of our number was expecting a baby; cards, flowers and meals were sent when someone was sick or in mourning. Birthdays, anniversaries and accomplishments were celebrated. We all rallied around each other, prayed together, and prayed for each other.
In 2019, I had an incredibly busy year. I had big goals for my business at the time and was working three or more nights per week, my husband was working in Long Island three days a week. I was traveling like crazy, including out of state trips to California, Texas and Florida. I remember nights where I wouldn’t get home from a flight until after 2 a.m.with just enough time to high-five Jeff as he left for Long Island at 2:30 a.m.. On March 21st of that year, I hit my breaking point. I was completely exhausted and overwhelmed. I remember falling to my knees and crying on a pile of laundry that I was simultaneously trying to fold and pack (as we were leaving for another trip the following day). I was so overwhelmed that I didn’t even feel that I could make it to our Small Group meeting that day. I called my Small Group Leader, told her what was going on and asked that the group pray for me.
During the same time that my Small Group was meeting (and I was still folding laundry and packing), I was overcome with a feeling of peace. I could truly feel their prayers and The Holy Spirit working through them to get through to me. It was beautiful.
I hope that you’ll carve out some time for Small Groups this upcoming season. I pray that you ask God for discernment on if you should lead a Small Group. We are looking for HOSTs to help us with Small Groups. HOST stands for:
Have a heart for people.
Open your home to a group of friends who want to study with you.
Serve them a snack.
Turn on the video
We know that in these uncertain times that meeting in person isn’t always possible, so we welcome you to consider hosting an online Small Group or a hybrid Small Group. If hosting is something you’d like to know more about, please reach out to me at email@example.com.