The 2007 Synod identified the need to reflect, discuss and discover our faith and the truth of our relationship with the person of Jesus Christ. In response to this need the Ecclesia programme was developed by The Centre for Pastoral Development, based at The Chancery in Cape Town.
Ecclesia runs on a similar basis to 'Renew'. It is based on the formation of Small Faith-Sharing Groups which meet each week at homes during the Ecclesia season, and follow the 6-week programme. Piloted in Constantia during October/November 2011, the first three seasons of Ecclesia ran sequentially from 2012 as follows:
- Season One: LOVE THE CHURCH ran during Lent 2012. Thi season's topcis were: Christian Initiation; Discipleship; The works and Gifts of The Holy Spirit; Church – People of God; Local Church; Mission
- Season Two: OUR FAITH OUR LIFE commenced in October/November 2012. Topics were: Marriage; Womb to Tomb; Youth; Family Life; Moral Issues; Family Spirituality
- Season Three was held during February 2013. The topics were: Eucharist;Servant Leadership; Communities in Service; Justice; Social Issues; Hope and Joy – a world renewed
- Following the success of the initial Series, and as part of the year of Faith, a further season was held during the second part of 2013, and covered topics were: Evangelization; Vatican II; the Laity; the Parish Pastoral Council; and the Universal Call to Holiness.
- Then in 2014 we had the LENT 2014 season where the sessions were centered around the gospel readings for that Sunday.
How Is Ecclesia Achieved?
The model of a Small Faith-Sharing Group works best to reach the Ecclesia goals. An Ecclesia Group is a gathering of between 6 and 12 people who meet to read and reflect on the scriptures, to pray and to socialize. It is a great way to meet fellow parishoners and to develop new friendships within our parish community. Find out more about Small Faith Sharing Groups. A typical Ecclesia Session includes:
- Viewing a 10 minute DVD clip
- Reading from Bible texts
- Reflecting on Questions for Group Discussion
- Planning practical Action for living out the message
- Praying and Sharing thoughts and ideas
- Serving tea and coffee is optional and may happen before or after each session
Who Should Participate?
Ecclesia is for everyone: all people of different ages and diverse interests. Ecclesia Groups may be formed around common interests or age groups, but easily accommodate ranges within groups.
Ecclesia In Our Parish
Within our Parish between 100 – 120 Parishioners are participating in Ecclesia, a spiritually enriching and rewarding Programme. The Ecclesia groups are led by dedicated facilitators to whom we owe much gratitude – without them we wouldn’t have Ecclesia. We owe our many thanks to faciltatators of previous seasons and to our faciltators of this season:
- Robert and Janine Boulle
- Karen Parkin
- Kevin Morris and Maura Robinson (leading the Young Adult Ecclesia Group)
- Sandi Warner
Some facilitators have not been able to continue with their groups for various reasons. We thank them for the time and effort that they put into Ecclesia and hope that they may return one day either as facilitators or as group members.
Our Current Season - Brave New Church
This Season of Ecclesia begins on Sunday, September 14 and runs for 6 weeks. The season is called 'BRAVE NEW CHURCH' and focuses on the social teachings of the Catholic Church. Catholic social teaching is an essential element of our faith. It is a teaching founded on the life and words of Christ who identified himself with "the least of these" - the hungry and the stranger. Catholic social teaching is based on a commitment to the poor and is inseparaable from our understanding of human life and human dignity. Human dignity comes from God - God created us in his likeness. The weekly sessions are
- Fearless Love: Love requires action and is not just an emotional response. Real love entails sacrifice. Love, justice and peace are connected and inseparable.
- Renew the face of the earth: God created and redeemed everything. God entrusted all created things to our stewardship.
- An Instrument of Transformation: We, the Church, seek to understand society and its structures. The Church transforms wrong into right, ay different levels.
- If you suffer, I suffer: We are all connected through God.
- Sisters a nd brothers on the journey: The family is the primary place where we learn about the Gospel and social teachings of the Church.
- We are all Africans. Africa has been marginalised through colonialism and slvery. We are all part of Africa. We need to witness to Servant Leadership to heal.
We would like to express our gratitude to John Burkewho was the previous tireless organizer of Ecclesia within our parish. Thank you to each of the facilitatorswho opened their homes and hosted the groups. And special thanks to everyone who has participated in making this programme a successful parish activity!
continue to pour out your Spirit
upon our Archdiocese
as we enter this time of Ecclesia.
Grant us a new vision of your glory;
a new experience of your power;
a new faithfulness to your Word;,
a new consecration to your service
so that your love may grow among us
and your kingdom come.
Bless our commitment
to realising our Pastoral Plan
to deepening our Communion
to fruitful Mission.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Our Lady of the Flight into Egypt,
pray for us