FAITH CIRCLES-CONNECT February 2018 | Download Now!
FAITH CIRCLES-CONNECT 2018 Available for Download Now!
Happy New Year and welcome to 2018!
We are pleased to provide you with your first monthly batch of Faith Circles for 2018 for the four weeks of February spanning the 5th & 6th Sunday's in Ordinary Time along with the 1st & 2nd Weeks of Lent.
We are also excited to let you know that we are making some changes to Faith Circles which we hope will assist you in going deeper in your relationships with God and one another.
As the use of Alpha continues to grow in the Diocese of Wollongong as well as other dioceses around Australia, we are transforming Faith Circles into a post-AlphaConnect Group resource. Whilst retaining key components of the original resource, the new Faith Circles-Connect will become the ideal post-Alpha resource for continuing to build and develop strong community and faith relationships with God and one another.
TRANSOFORMING FAITH CIRCLES INTO FAITH CIRCLES-CONNECT
A greater focus on group members sharing their personal faith story and relationship with Jesus.
Evidence has shown that the more we are able to share the story of our relationship with God, the stronger and deeper our relationship with him becomes. We draw encouragement from hearing ourselves naming God's presence in our lives and hearing how God has been present and active in the lives of others.
We have therefore taken out the reflection by Pope Francis and replaced it with an opportunity for a group member to prepare a short 5–7 minute sharing on how the Gospel reading connects with their life and relationship with Jesus.
What hasn't changed?
We will continue to base the resource on the weekly Sunday Gospel reading and include points for discussion and prayer.
For those who haven't done Alpha and are continuing to gather as a Faith Circles group and would like to continue using Pope Francis' reflections, you can access them at here or simply search the Vatican website for his Angelus/Regina Coeli reflections.
SURRENDER-LENTEN PROGRAM 2018
During the Lenten season you might also like to use our Lenten Program-Surrender, which also includes short daily reflections (from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday) in addition to the longer-form Sunday Gospel reflections, spiritual direction, gospel readings, responsorial psalms, prayers and reflection questions that are traditionally part of the Lenten program for groups. It is an ideal resource for deepening your prayer and reflection during this most special and transformative time.
As a post-Alpha initiative,Connect Groups are easy to begin-just keep meeting fortnightly with your fellow Alpha participants. You gather for some food, discussion and prayer. Faith Circles-Connect gives you the format and reflection questions to assist in these fortnightly gatherings.
For those who have not participated in Alpha yet, starting a small faith sharing group using Faith Circles-Connect remains easy. Just get two or more people keen to share faith and life and pick a time and a place to regularly meet. Sign up for our emails and we will send it to you, for free! You can then print the handout or maybe just read it straight off a smart-phone or tablet!
Connect Groups are where those who have completed Alpha go to connect and to grow. Connect groups are for building and nurturing relationships with Jesus and one another. They are small to mid-size groups that retain the key ingredients of Alpha, especially sharing food, praise and worship and small group sharing.
At each Connect Group gathering, a member of the group shares how a Scripture reading connects with their life and relationship with Jesus. Time is then given for small group sharing followed by prayer with and for one another. Through Connect Groups, the parish ensures that all parishioners are known individually, loved, nurtured and cared for. These groups enable:
A sense of belonging and sharing of life through the lens of faith.
Group and personal prayerfulness and relationship with the risen Lord.
Growing confidence to share faith with others.
THREE'S A CROWD
We've all heard the saying three's a crowd. When Catholics come together in faith there is always an additional presence, as the Lord is true to his promise that, "For where two or three meet in my name, I shall be there with them." (Matthew 18:20) For this reason we are encouraging people to form Faith Circles-Connect in their church community.
ACCESSING THE RESOURCE
Faith Circles-Connect is a single-sided A4 sheet, based on the Sunday Gospel with reflection questions and prayer points. It is available to download via email subscription (see above to subscribe) or on our website at faithcircles.dow.org.au.
Faith Circles-Connect is free, no strings attached, we just want Catholics to be nurtured by doing life and faith in groups, not on your own! You can print as many copies as you like.
Catholic Diocese of Wollongong · PO Box 1239 · Wollongong, Nsw 2500 · Australia