Learning and Teaching the Catechism

I’m prepping for my first session of a catechism class – ever. I’m teaching the Christian Faith to a group of youth through a process I personally never experienced. Had we stayed in the Presbyterian church I would have participated in a Faith Formation process prior to catechism. But since we moved from Pennsylvania to Texas when I was 9, and from the Presbyterian church (infant baptism followed by catechism at “the age of reason”) to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) (baby dedication followed by Pastor’s class and baptism at “the age of reason”) I got 6 weeks of special instruction rather than a year or more. Nothing so deep as the 128 questions if the Evangelical Catechism, used in the United Church of Christ or even the new and much briefer New City Catechism.

Catechism is an English translation of Katecheo which means “to instruct orally” with a root meaning literally “to pass down”. Disciples don’t even use creeds, except the non-creed-creed “No Creed but Christ!“. We Disciples have much to say about  who we aspire to be, how we believe God works in the world, and what we believe God calls us to be and do. We are less confident in speaking about God’s nature.

I’m particularly struck by the tension between the United Church of Christ being one of the more progressive (and they hope diverse) of mainline denominations yet holding to the Evangelical Catechism as the foundation for confirmation class. Granted, the particular congregation where I currently serve as Interim Pastor still relates mentally, emotionally and spiritually to their Evangelical and Reformed roots. Even so, it is interesting.

I am looking forward to prayerfully studying and discussing the confirmation class books and study guides. I’ll be reading and reflecting on the Catechism’s questions and answers and scripture references. I’m curious to see how my own faith matures and develops as I walk this ancient path with these young people, their mentors and families.

How have you experienced the tensions between teaching or learning the ancient, traditional, orthodox faith in the midst of progressive, secular, post modern cultural influences?

Daily Prayer Through Psalms and Proverbs

 

Daily Prayer through
Psalms and Proverbs
Date Psalms Proverbs
1 1, 31, 61, 91, 121 1
2 2, 32, 62, 92, 122 2
3 3, 33, 63, 93, 123 3
4 4, 34, 64, 94, 124 4
5 5, 35, 65, 95, 125 5
6 6, 36, 66, 96, 126 6
7 7, 37, 67, 97, 127 7
8 8, 38, 68, 98, 128 8
9 9, 39, 69, 99, 129 9
10 10, 40, 70, 100, 130 10
11 11, 41, 71, 101, 131 11
12 12, 42, 72, 102, 132 12
13 13, 43, 73, 103, 133 13
14 14, 44, 74, 104, 134 14
15 15, 45, 75, 105, 135 15
16 16, 46, 76, 106, 136 16
17 17, 47, 77, 107, 137 17
18 18, 48, 78, 108, 138 18
19 19, 49, 79, 109, 139 19
20 20, 50, 80, 110, 140 20
21 21, 51, 81, 111, 141 21
22 22, 52, 82, 112, 142 22
23 23, 53, 83, 123, 143 23
24 24, 54, 84, 114, 144 24
25 25, 55, 85, 115, 145 25
26 26, 56, 85, 116, 146 26
27 27, 57, 87, 117, 147 27
28 28, 58, 88, 118, 148 28
29 29, 59, 89, 119, 149 29
30 30, 60, 90, 120, 150 30
31 Readers choice 31