Occasionally a customer calls or writes us about how Sunday by Sunday is going in his or her parish/groups. We are sharing a few of these with you.
Patricia Franks spoke to Rosie in Customer Service. Rosie took notes as she listened and this poem emerged:
Sunday by Sunday
What a joy to use!
Substantive, but not complicated.
Takes the gospel farther for people.
Paves the way to openness.
Carefully and well done.
Opened me to the beauty of the women in my group.
Share the secrets of our hearts.
Window on the ultimate for all of us.
Can it be more ecumenical?
Barbara Corders Sunday by Sunday for a faith-sharing group. “We’ve been happy. Have used it for a year now.” Barbara likes that Sunday by Sunday has it all in one small handout—prayer, scripture interpretation, Bible history, questions. For an individual, it’s a week-long reflection. Proclaiming the gospel in reader parts brings it alive in the midst of a group. Her group also likes knowing how the Old Testament reading connects to the gospel.
Our group appreciates how Sunday by Sunday makes connections between the gospel and our lives in our families, neighborhood, and our country.
St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Alpharetta, Georgia, thrives today with about 4,000 families and 40 small Christian communities. Terry Zobel has organized, participated in, and inspired the parish small communities for over 30 years. Sunday by Sunday is a longtime resource for the groups St. Thomas Aquinas is 25% Spanish speaking. “We have experienced the influx of the whole world,” says Terry. “Our small Christian communities represent that diversity. We don’t form groups by type, such as divorces, age, or ethnic groups.” Terry posts times small Christian communities will meet. People sign up for the time that is best for them, which mixes people up.
Some groups meet every week year around, some every other week. Some have continued for years, some are new. Terry explains why she participates in a group. “I need a place in this parish where I’m not in charge, where I can sit on the couch, and talk when I want to.”
“People find the small communities a safe place to talk about life and what it means, to wrestle with life,” says Terry. She compares the experience to a comment Bill Moyer made on public radio in response to Terry Gross’s question, “Where are you in life?” Moyers answered, “I went to the seminary and learned all the answers. Life has given me the questions” (Fresh Air, August 3, 2017).