The Pastoral Council of Zimbabwe’s Archdiocese of Harare has rolled out a new Pastoral Plan calling upon all parishes to establish’ standardised Small Christian Communities (SCCs).
Jesuit Communications – Harare, Zimbabwe
…I am a Missionary Disciple in my Small Christian Community
Inspired by the 2019 Extra-Ordinary Mission month’s theme, ‘Baptised and Sent: the Church of Christ on Mission in the World,’ the new archdiocesan pastoral plan calls on all the faithful to be ‘registered, belong and active’ in their Small Christian Communities.
Word of God is central to SCCs
In his foreword, the Archbishop of Harare, Robert Ndlovu urged the new communities to focus on the Word of God, Liturgy, and charity.
“I urge you to form and establish standardised Small Christian Communities in all parishes, to foster membership, belonging and active participation of all parishioners and also to make the Word of God, Liturgy, Catechesis and charity the thrust of Small Christian Communities.”
The Archdiocese’s Pastoral Vicar, Fr Kizito Nhundu said, “Small Christian Communities are meant to form a family of God, a people whose hearts beat together- sharing life and sharing about God.”
Small Christian Communities are groups of neighbourhood enclaves who meet regularly, in the home of one of the parishioners. The SCCs as neighbourhood, parish-based communities in either an urban or rural area meet share the Word of God, celebrate their patron saint; meet and help each other during periods of bereavement, sicknesses etc.
They are modelled on the early Church communities: Gatherings of small home-based communities, where sharing of life and faith may occur; a place where members support one another and get to know one another personally.
Family of God: Households of up to 20 families
While the Archdiocese’s plan recognises the existence of other structures such as blocks, sections, neighbourhood zones and districts, Small Christian Communities are to be limited to ten or fifteen families (households), considering proximity and residential setup.
Once a SCC grows to 20 families, it will be “split up” to create two SCCs. This will allow for closer interaction.
“The smaller, the better, we are forming a family of God, that is, people who are united, who share life, who share about God. So the involvement of all the faithful in the Church’s life is important,” said Fr Nhundu.
“As a Pastoral Council, we have given guidance to parishes and deaneries; so deaneries will report on progress in March, and we are also on a roll to visit deaneries and parishes to unpack and monitor progress.”
Young people in SCCs
During the last two years, the Archdiocese has been focusing on the young people, their faith formation and vocational discernment.
“These SCCs will also serve to accompany young people in their journey of faith, so one will no longer be accompanied by their family only, but also by the community.”