Heart  of the Church


Living Cells

Developing Small Christian Community

by James O'Halloran 

Living Cells


 Recommended by Helen who says

may be a bit dated but some of the anecdotal data seems relevant

Buy used from Amazon

 James O'Halloran has written a number of books on this subject. 

The Universal Christ

How a forgotten reality can change everything we see, hope for and believe

by Richard Rohr

To say "I believe in Jesus Christ" isn't one belief statement but two. Jesus is God individual and personal; Christ is God everywhere and universal. In this five-minute video, Richard introduces what he means when he says "Universal Christ" and how we can know that Christ preceded Jesus by over 13 billion years. You'll also get the backstory on the original subtitle of the book.

Buy it from the Centre for Action and Contemplation (USA)

Buy it from Amazon

Recommended by Helen

Etty Hillesum A Life Transformed

 by Patrick Woodhouse

On 8 March 1941, a 27-year-old Dutch Jewish student living in enemy-occupied Amsterdam made the first entry in a diary that was to become one of the most remarkable documents to emerge from the Nazi Holocaust. Over the course of the next two and a half years, an insecure, chaotic and troubled young woman was transformed into someone who inspired those with whom she shared the suffering of the transit camp at Westerbork and with whom she eventually perished at Auschwitz. Through her diary and letters, she continues to inspire those whose lives she has touched since: an extraordinarily alive and vivid young woman who shaped and lived a spirituality of hope in the darkest period of the twentieth century.This book explores Etty Hillesum's life and writings, seeking to understand what it was about her that was so remarkable, how her journey developed, how her spirituality was shaped, and what her profound reflections on the roots of violence and the nature of evil can teach us today.

Buy on Amazon

Recommended by Helen

Christianity Rediscovered

Christianity RediscoveredYou told us of the High God, how we must search for him...But we have not done this. We have not left our land. We have not searched for him. He has searched for us...All the time we think we are the lion. In the end, the lion is God"

Christianity Rediscovered is more than just a classic missionary story, about how one man brought a number of groups of Masai people in east Africa to Christian faith.

It is also a profound challenge, a call to a radical redefinition of what we mean when we talk about mission - as relevant to today's church as it was when it was first written. For Vincent Donovan, his experiences in Africa meant a total reappraisal of the meaning of his faith, and therefore a rediscovery of his Christianity.

His book, which is written with moving simplicity, continues to represent a provocative challenge to all those engaged in issues of evangelism and multiculturalism.

Available on SCM Press

 Recommended by Ann and Valerie  04-01-2024

Building the Church as Family of God

Evaluation of Small Christian Communities in Eastern Africa

Building the Church as Family of God: Evaluation of Small Christian Communities in Eastern AfricaIf Small Christian Communities (SCCs) are a “New Way of Being/Becoming Church,” then it is appropriate that this is a new way of writing a “Foreword.” We are not well-known people (important leaders or celebrities). We are seven ordinary Kenyan Catholic lay members of St. Kizito SCC located in Waruku, an informal settlement area (lower class housing) in Nairobi, Kenya. We are one of the 15 neighborhood, parish-based SCCs in St. Austin’s Parish in Nairobi Archdiocese. We are five men and two women representing five ethnic groups in Kenya. We have a variety of professions: three cooks, a farmer, a freelance photographer, a salesperson and a secretary. Our small group ranges from the chairperson (now called Moderator) to an ordinary member. One afternoon the seven of us got together to discuss the importance of SCCs and this book. Here is the fruit of our conversation.


recommended by Valerie - 03-01-2024