Welcome to Saint Andre Bessette Life Groups!
My name is Mark Carew and I will be the facilitator of the Life Groups during the Advent season in our parish. I am here to get things rolling and to get everyone used to the medium of Zoom and then after Advent we can continue with our Life Groups with another theme. At that time, you will be broken into small groups and the groups will be run independently as often as you agree to meet.
The Advent Life Groups will take place every Sunday evening at 7pm during the Advent season. Once you sign up, I will contact everyone by e mail, and I will send you the Zoom link each week. All you will have to do is click on the email Zoom link each Sunday evening (a few minutes before start time) and we will all join together on zoom. The sessions will only be about 40 minutes so we can adapt this ministry into our busy lives.
What are small Groups?
The early Church was more closely related to small groups than to parishes, because they didn’t have big church buildings or public places where they could gather. They had to get together in the homes of fellow believers in hiding for fear of persecution. Ideally, we would hold our Life Groups in people’s homes because this creates a bond and community amongst us. However, during COVID 19 restrictions we will meet by zoom only.
Small groups are a way to develop your faith with some like-minded people of your parish. You come together each week or month and have a small informal meeting over Zoom. The Life groups will eventually be broken into groups of 6 or so and one member of the group will be the facilitator. The smaller group leaders will send you a group e mail introducing themselves and explaining the process each time the group meets.
As stated, during Advent the meeting will be held once a week on Sunday evenings. After Advent, when you are broken into smaller groups, you can change the time and date to best suit your group. However, to start with we will hold the meetings each Sunday at 7pm until after Christmas.
What will the meetings look like each Sunday of Advent?
Step 1: Call the group to prayer: We will take a minute to consciously acknowledge that we are in the presence of God and ask Him to help us to hear the Word he wants us to hear this week. I will ask you to place your bible close by and light a candle to welcome the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Step 2: Pause for a minute.
Step 3: Opening Prayer We would usually take turns saying the opening prayer each week but to start with we can pray the Opening Prayer below out loud and together:
Father, we thank you for gathering us together for this time of sharing and reflection. Open our hearts to your Holy Spirit who is present and active in each of us. Help us to share our thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Help us also to listen to one another with love and respect. Bind us together in love and help us to be clear channels of your wisdom and love for one another. This we ask through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Step 4: A short Advent video will be shown to all the group
Step 5: A Bible reading will be read to all.
Step 6: We will have a moment to think about the reading we just heard and then we will read the same Bible passage again.
Step 7: I will break you into small Life Groups called a breakout session. In these smaller groups you will have some questions to read and discuss regarding the video and Bible Reading. Do not worry if you get off the topic just let the Spirit guide you as you talk. Please try not to dominate the conversation, in fact if you see someone reluctant to speak just kindly invite them to participate. We are all at different levels of spiritually and it is important to not fixate on doctrine, Cannon Law or patrons of the church. If you allow things to be fun, then you will want to return to the group again. Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself!
Step 8: Close Zoom and take a few moments to think about some of the items discussed.