I have just come back from a ‘men alive’ gathering.
A group of men have been gathering to support each other on their faith journey here in Darwin for the last few months. They share stories from their lives and say some prayers together.
There would have been about 40 men there today. They ranged from men in their twenties to some in their sixties.
I joined a small group for some sharing. Two of the men shared about their wives and themselves expecting a child on the way. They shared how they felt about this amazing experience.
Another man, a grandfather, shared about his family.
I shared about my recent experiences.
Then we prayed for each other.
Other groups were doing the same thing at the same time.
I spoke with the whole group, saying how delighted I was to see such a group get together, and to know that these small groups were gathering regularly.
I said that we cannot be lone rangers in the area of faith. How good it is to be able to strengthen each other in our lives as Christians.
We sang a song together, and then enjoyed a hearty meal.
I left the gathering heartened and strengthened by the experience. Great to be with such men of faith!
I am also aware that ‘TEAMS’ are also beginning to gather on a regular basis in our Diocese.
These teams are composed of small groups of married couples. Again, they are faith friendship groups. I know of similar groups in other places that have met together for years.
There are a number of other groups that meet to support each other in their faith life in our local Church, such as Couples for Christ, Youth & Singles for Christ, Jesus Youth, etc.
Private prayer is good and necessary.
Having quiet time in solitude is necessary.
However, an important aspect of Christian faith has always been its community component.
Gathering together for Eucharist is, of course, central today to our Christian life as it has always been.
Other small groups and gatherings are of course also a great help in keeping faith alive.