Small Groups FAQs

Small Groups in General

What is a small group?
A small group consists of 6-10 people who meet regularly with an identified host who creates an environment for connection, community and spiritual formation. In addition to studying a spiritual book and praying with one another, small groups serve the community at large and have regular outings to promote fellowship and fun.

The vision of the small groups ministry is directly tied to the vision of SMSV: to become a Church where nobody stands alone! St. Maurice & St. Verena’s Coptic Orthodox Church has a vision of making small group ministry an integral part of this Church. Thus, it should not only be a church with small groups but a church OF small groups. This means that eventually every member of the congregation should be connected to a small group which best fits his/her interests and present spiritual journey.

What is the format of a typical small group session?
The format is approximately one hour gathering at the home of a host for six weeks – starting the week of February 26. It includes time for prayer, bible reading and discussion following a particular curriculum designed to follow the weekly Lenten readings at liturgy.

Who can host a small group?
Anyone 16 years of age and up is able to host a small group. Individuals younger than that may co-host with someone older than 16. Also, a couple may choose to co-host a small group together.

The actual meeting

How long should the average small group meeting last?
A typical small group meeting is approximately one hour in length.

How do I get into a group?
There are different ways to join a small group. You can email smallgroups@smsv.ca OR you can speak to someone at the welcome table upstairs or downstairs after liturgy on Sunday who can find a suitable group for you according to your preferences.

Would my child be able to join a small group?
Children in Kindergarten and up will be having their own small groups during Sunday School for 6 weeks every Sunday starting February 26. The small group discussion will follow a similar curriculum to the adult curriculum but will be age appropriate. Youth group will be joining small groups as well organized by their servants.

Hosting a group

Do I need to have a lot of biblical knowledge to become a Small Group Host?
No. You are not giving a lesson as a host. Your host responsibility is to facilitate the discussion guided by a particular curriculum that ties into the weekly Lenten gospel readings. Discussion questions will be provided to you as part of the curriculum.  You will be trained in how to facilitate a small group in a 2 hour training session to be held on Sunday February 12 or 26 from 12:15 pm-2:00 pm. Please email smallgroups@smsv.ca to register for a training session.

What are the requirements to host a small group?
A host must be 16 years or older. He/she needs to commit to facilitate a weekly meeting of 6-10 people for 6 weeks starting the week of February 26. The meeting can take place either in their home, the church (let the church office know to book a room), or public area (coffee shop).

How can I form a group with people who have similar preferences as me?
You can identify your preference of group (like Couples, Singles, Women, Men, etc.) through the small group administration team on Sunday’s.

We have a small house or condo, can we still host a group?
Yes, so long as you feel comfortable having a group of 6-10 people in your home.  Alternatively, you can consider hosting a small group in the church (let the church office know to book a room).

Can I invite people who don’t attend our church?
Absolutely! SMSV is always welcome to anyone who wishes to attend.  Come as you are!

I live out of the Greater Toronto Area. Should I still consider hosting at home?
We have some members who come from outside the GTA to attend our church, so there may be others who would like to join the small group in your home. Or you can consider hosting a small group in the church (let the church office know to book a room).

When should my group meet?
You should choose the time and place that is convenient to you, the leader, then people who can meet your schedule will be attracted to your group.

How should our small group handle childcare?
There are various options to childcare. You might be able to get a sitter to watch the kids in one part of the house while the group meets in another room. If there’s home nearby, one person can watch the kids there while the group meets in another house. There are many childcare options these are just a few.

On which day of the week does the small group take place?
Pick the day and time that is most convenient for you as a host and others will join if it is convenient for them.

Am I required to prepare a meal for my small group at my house as a host?
No.  This is not a social gathering.  The purpose of a small group is to grow spiritually together.  There is no expectation to serve food and in some cases, may be a cause for distraction or may lengthen the meeting.

My small group would like to extend our small group beyond the 6 week program. Can we do that?
Absolutely!  There are several small groups at SMSV that run year round and enrich the spiritual lives of the members as a result.  If your group would like to continue to meet as a small group and need assistance to find a curriculum to use, please contact us at smallgroups@smsv.ca and we can assist you in choosing a new curriculum.