The use of Faith Circles has been growing rapidly over the past twelve months. Whether through participating in Alpha, Lent or Advent groups, people have realised the joy and fruitfulness of journeying in faith with people they have come to know, love and trust. All the evidence shows that living and growing in our faith is best done as part of a small group – turning rows into circles!
Transforming Faith Circles into Faith Circles - 'Connect'
As use of Alpha continues to grow in our Diocese we are transforming Faith Circles into a post-Alpha Connect 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.
What has changed?
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, 5-7min, 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 you can access Pope Francis’ reflections by going to: http://dow.sh/pope_angelus or simply search the Vatican website for his Angelus / Regina Coeli reflections.
Subscribe to Faith Circles
How to start?
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!
Click here to download our free resource 'How to Start & Run a Faith Sharing Group'
What are Connect Groups all about?
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
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 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 will be available to download via email subscription (see above to subscribe). 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.
Download Faith Circles
Introduction to Faith Cirlces
Year of Mercy