“They devoted themselves to the ... communal life...” —Acts 2:42ff
Acts 2:42 Home-Based Community (HBC) is comprised of both single people and families with children. Twelve members signed the covenant this year (2009-10). Two of the college-age members chose adult status by signing on their own behalf. All the members have an opportunity to share their finances concretely on a month-by-month basis. This financial sharing supports one of the members who has been called to volunteer full time at Presentation Ministries’ (PM) central office in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The group meets two Fridays per month for Liturgy of the Hours, other prayer, and teaching. The first Saturday and fourth Sunday they enjoy fellowship. Additionally, each household takes a turn or collaborates in hosting dinner on Tuesdays, after which, some member attend evening Mass.
Acts 2:42 HBC grew out of a financial sharing group at Our Lady of Presentation Church (1980) even before PM existed. Membership has varied through the years, but three people remain in the HBC who were present at its foundation. Surprisingly, we were not quick to covenant in those early years when the first HBCs were forming in PM. A delay of one or two years occurred due to an inexplicable hesitancy to “sign on the dotted line” (i.e.sign a covenant).
One of our former members grew up in Acts 2:42 from early childhood and highlights some fond memories: “Acts 2:42 has had many adventures together. We have camped out several times, seen hot-air balloons, traveled to Dayton, Ohio [to view a Vatican Art display], hiked across Cincinnati’s bridges that span the Ohio River, flown kites together, and annually taken time during Lent or Easter to watch ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ in its entirety (6 hours). Additionally, we love playing games together, dominoes and cards among others.” Involvement in the HBC has been a tremendous blessing to her. “Acts 2:42 is like family to me, and the adults are not only terrific role models, but also lots of fun to be with. Through community I have been able to stay on the right path, and I thank God for giving me such wonderful people to share my faith with!” [This member has since married and moved away to start a "holy family" in the Lord.]
The pre-press ministry of One Bread, One Body is the outreach ministry for Acts 2:42. Our group prays a rosary together once a month, focusing on specific needs of the editors. Some members help with shipping the books. Another young adult member describes her participation. “ ‘Book-packing’ is held every other month and I have the privilege to help pack One Bread, One Body and ship them to those who read and distribute them. I am amazed at how many people receive it.” She considers it a blessing to be an “official” member. “I have been able to witness myself and others grow in their faith and grow closer to each other through our teachings and fellowship."
Some others share their appreciation of being in a small Christian community:
“Community has sustained me through some of the worst times in my life. Even when activities and events in my life prohibited me from being able to covenant for a year, I felt the prayers and support of my community which carried me through that year and brought me happily back into union with them.”
“Without community I would probably be still in the state I was before joining it—or worse— working on weekends and going to whatever church had a Mass at an available time, with almost no connection with the larger Church."
“Community has much the same effect as an extended family has. Since the members are people who value spiritual things and strive to live a holy life, they give a firm spiritual foundation for the children in the HBC to build their life on. It also provides non-judgemental support for the adults and children as they struggle through life’s trials. I have already been blessed with a loving biological family. Christian community is a reinforcement. I have an opportunity to share my blessings, gifts and talents with others who may not have been blessed in that way.”
“I used to dream of a HBC in my home and for my family. I now have that. There is prayer, praise and teachings in my home. My dream has come true. I only wish there were more people to join HBCs.”
Here are two other scriptures:
“Make every effort to preserve the unity which has the Spirit as its origin and peace as its binding force.” —Ephesians 4:3
“Let the word of Christ, rich as it is, dwell in you. In wisdom made perfect, instruct and admonish one another. Sing gratefully to God from your hearts in psalms, hymns, and inspired songs Whatever you do, whether in speech or in action, do it in the name of the Lord Jesus, Give thanks to God the Father through Him. —Colossians 3:16-17
Contact: Marianne Lander