Where do I start?

Option 1: Connect with a group on the small groups website.

Steps to picking a small group:

  1. Pray for a bit of inspiration and guidance from the Holy Spirit.
  2. Go to the small groups website, stmatthewcatholic.com/joinasmallgroup.
  3. Pick a group to join, based on whatever quality you find to be most critical, location, meeting night, kind of group, etc.
  4. Join your small group on their first meeting night after you join.
    The first group you meet might be your ideal group, it might not be. It’s okay to go to a meeting or two and test the waters. That being said, I’d suggest sticking it out for a season and see if the group grows on you.

Of course not every combination is going to be readily available, and in that case you might want to take advantage of option 2.

Option 2: Start your own small group.

Steps to starting your own small group:

  1. Invite 3 or 4 people you know, maybe friends, maybe just acquaintances to join you in establishing a small group.
  2. Pick a meeting night and a frequency (every week, every other week, once a month) that will potentially work for everyone.
  3. Pick a meeting place, could be someone’s home, a coffee shop, a library, etc.
  4. Let Rachel know (rachelw@stmatthewcatholic.org). Tell her about your group and get signed up so she can forward any new resources or information to you and your group.
  5. Invite others to join until you have a group that fits well in your meeting space. You can do this by reaching out individually to people, person to person. You can also do this by opening up your group on the website. (Rachel can help you with this too!)
  6. Once you have your group mostly gathered, pick a resource. You can use the suggested resource, pick a resource from our library, or you can go rogue and pick something we’ve never heard of. (If you find something good, please share it with us! We love hearing about new things!) Our suggested resources will change seasonally, and can be found at stmatthewcatholic.org/smallgroupresources.

Starting your own group can seem a little bit more challenging, but it really is not as hard as it seems. If you would like to start a group but it still feels too daunting, email Rachel and she will be thrilled to help you get started down the path to success!

What are these Small Groups?

“For the body does not consist of one member but of many…
(1st Corinthians 12:14)

St. Matthew has an impressive tradition of Small Groups. I’m new here, but I can tell you that from day one I have heard about the amazing things that Small Groups have read, studied, and prayed. I’ve heard about the incredible communities formed. I’ve heard about the amazing content that the Small Groups Team created for four successive years, writing books and creating videos, distributing them to various communities around Charlotte and drawing the whole city into the excitement. I am blown away by the joy and enthusiasm for community that is evident here at St. Matthew.

This fall there is a new launch of small groups. What does it entail? Is it really anything different?
Because of the long history of small groups and the wide variety of spiritualties and walks of life that all participate in these groups, the Small Groups Team is trying to devise a program that will be flexible and accessible, something unifying and yet addressing the diversity of groups already active among parishioners.

Unifying factors

We are picking some suggested resources. These will be resources you can choose to use with your group to plug into the group life. These will be updated seasonally, about four times a year, and will reflect the liturgical seasons – so for Advent we will have something that prepares us for Christmas, for Lent something that prepares us for Easter, etc.

This very blog will be updated with resources and pacing guides to help you if you would like to tap into an outside resource.

There will periodically be suggestions for how to make your small group life easier, better, more efficient, more fun, etc.

Diversity and Flexibility

The resources we are providing are simply suggestions. We have a resource library on the website that has a variety of different books and video series, many of which can be found in the St. Matthew library, that would be good to do with a group. It is not an exhaustive collection. (If you have something great that you’d like to share, please pass it along! We would love to know about it!)

Some groups will focus primarily on prayer, coming together for a weekly rosary. Some groups will be book studies or video series based, focusing on an outside resource and learning together chapter by chapter, episode by episode. Others might choose to follow the weekly Sunday readings and dive deeper into their meaning and application.

Groups at St. Matthew vary widely by kind, size, meeting frequency, focus and a number of other factors. Find a group, or start a group, that has a sustainable structure. Allow yourself to be drawn deeper into the faith by people who will get to know you and hold you accountable, sustain you in times of sorrow and share your joy.

“For the body does not consist of one member but of many… If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” (1st Corinthians 12:14, 26)

Christ Renews His Parish Retreats

Christ Renews His Parish is a unique, parish-based faith renewal experience for men and women. This parishioner led experience is designed to foster a sense of community within St. Matthew Catholic Church. Participants will grow in discipleship and come away with a renewed spirit and strengthened faith.

Women’s retreat: October 11-12
Men’s retreat: November 1-2

Don’t miss this great opportunity to take a step back from the pace of everyday life and connect with fellow parishioners in a relaxed setting while discovering how God is working in your life and the lives of others.

To register or for more information, click here. We hope you’ll consider joining us!

Xtreme Edge Retreat

XTREME EDGE RETREAT

Who: all 6th, 7th, 8th graders. Teens are welcome to invite friends. We will have registration open until spots fill (spots are limited.)

Where: White Oak Conference Center, 633 Mobley Highway Winnsboro, SC 29180

When: Friday, Oct. 25th  – Sunday, Oct. 27th

Cost: $150. This includes transportation, lodging, meals, a retreat t-shirt, and additional activities.

What: This weekend will consist of lots of games/outdoor activities, tons of food (we know your middle schoolers like to eat) and a chance for them to learn and explore more about their faith. We will have a lot of fun and have opportunities for us all to spend some time with God.

What to bring: Pillow, pajamas, toiletries, towel, sneakers, sweatshirt, comfy clothes, rain jacket, Bible, Rosary, journal, pen, and flashlight. Linens are provided. Make sure that you have closed-toe shoes for our outdoor activities! Dress code is modest attire.

Cell phones are not allowed. We will provide contact information to you in the event that you need to contact your child. In addition, if your child absolutely needs to contact you, we will have them contact you from the conference center. Last year, we experienced some problems with cell phones and we want to avoid those issues this year.

Other items NOT allowed: Drugs, alcohol, weapons, bad attitudes.

Drop off/Pick up: Drop off will occur at St. Matthew Parish Center at 5:00pm. We will be providing transportation through the MACS bus system. On Sunday, Oct. 27th we will depart camp at 1pm and arrive back at St. Matthew at 3pm.

Click here to make payment.

Click here to complete the Liability Form.

Faith Formation Sessions Begin!

Our 2019-2020 program year kicks off this week!  We are excited to share our new schedule, format, expectations and opportunities for families to draw even closer to our Lord.

For the week of 9/8, please note:

  • Sunday Preschool-Kindergarten will have an open house following the 9 and 10:45 am Mass.  Families are asked to come following the Mass for which they registered in the program.
  • Our general programming will begin.  This includes K-6th, Edge (7th/8th) and our second year RCIC families.
  • Fr. Pat will open our program year, you will receive important information about the NEW program format, schedule and parent expectations.
  • K-6th and second year RCIC families will gather in the church (main campus) or worship space (Waxhaw campus) to start.
  • Edge (7th/8th) teens do not need to be present, however parents of Edge teens are expected to be present.
  • If you have children in both our K-6th program and Edge, we ask that you join our opening; after we break into small groups and dismiss the parents, you will be expected to join the Edge parent-catechist gathering.

For the week of 9/15, please note:

  • Our Sunday Preschool-Kindergarten program begins for children during the 9 and 10:45 am Masses.
  • Our RCIT and RCIC (first year) program begins.  RCIT teens do not need to be present, however the parents are expected to be present.  RCIC parents and children are both expected to be present.  We will begin in the Narthex of the Church.
  • Our first Family Connection events take place – see our Faith and Family page for more details!

Small Groups Interest Party

Have you ever participated  in a small group?
Are you interested in learning more about the Small Groups Fall 2019 initiative?

Come to our

Small Groups Interest Party!

September 19, 2019
7:00-8:30

Banquet Room

Come, enjoy some fellowship and refreshments and spend time with others who share a love of small groups!

We will have resources that can be used in small groups available for you to look through.

You will also be able to sign up to be a host if you are so drawn.

You will be able to sign up to receive more information on participating in small groups as the start date approaches.

Come and join the excitement for Fall 2019 Small Groups!

 

LIFE TEEN Fall Kick-off – ULTIMATE GAMES

LIFE TEEN Fall Kick-off – ULTIMATE GAMES

All high school youth are invited to attend the first Life Teen event of the new year – It will be an evening of fun, food, and tons of games. We will have inflatables and small group games to see who is the ultimate small group!

Life Teen meets on Sundays from 6:30pm-8:30pm to have fun, meet other teens, and learn more about our Catholic faith. New to Life Teen? Kick Off is a perfect time to jump in!

Friends are always welcome to attend!

When: Sunday, September 15th

Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm

Where: St. Matthew School Field

For more information, contact Lauren Piercefield.

Click here to register!

LIFE TEEN Registration

LIFE TEEN Registration

All high school teens are invited to BELONG to LIFE TEEN. Click here to register to register your high school teen for the LIFE TEEN youth ministry.

Life Nights – Sundays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Offered throughout the year, these nights provide a time for dinner, fellowship and way to stay connected to our Catholic faith. It is a way to take a break and dive into a night of social, spiritual and service opportunities. Friends are welcome!

For more information, email Lauren Piercefield.