We read in CN, July 31, that parishioners of one of the churches held a retreat at Majodi Retreat Centre (Blessed Sacrament Parishioners Learn About NCC Mission).
The retreatants learned about growing in discipleship as well as outreach and fellowship.
This is a good start but all of our NCCs (Neighbourhood Christian Communities) need to be overhauled for better effectiveness for all residents.
Some NCCs can become dormant or inactive gradually. There could be several reasons. The zone leaders and their assistants tend to remain too long in their posts. They get little or no fresh ideas to steer their NCC, to “cast their nets into the deep”.
This means they would then need to probe and discuss other difficulties that families face. These problems could be discussed collectively, suitable solutions looked into and families directed to the relevant departments for advice.
For NCCs to discuss only the rosary recitation schedule, canteen duties or food and funfair events are not enough. Neighbours from non-Christian groups could be invited to widen the contacts.
At the NCC meetings, the spiritual director or his delegateshould be present to give them some moral support. Talks on relevant topics on NCC management and Bible sharings could be done to build up people’s spiritual life and discipleship.
Videos could be screened in void decks with permission granted by HDB/Zone Area Office. Families could make a small contribution to meet incidental costs for the hire of chairs and refreshments every month.
Zone leaders and their assistants should stay in their leadership roles for two years or so to make way for new trained leaders. The senior leaders could act as advisers to help the new leaders. The tenure of leaders could be rotated, as with other church ministries.
Leaders from different zones, eg North/South could form a Central NCC Committee to plan all activities for the two zones. Others could be included in the Central Committee to plan food and funfairs or concerts.
Feedback could be sent to the Central Committee for improvements. These activities could be planned half yearly on rotation.
Hopefully this reorganisation of NCCs could help them achieve their aims in the near future. Families would then come to realise the role of NCCs. n
Herbert De Silva