Catechesis

 

DSCN2624The Program of Catechesis

St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church & School

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The Lutheran Catechesis Series, by Peter C. Bender, is a four year program that has been in place here at St. Peter for the last two years.

Christians are disciples of Jesus – ‘catechumens’ – for life, not just for a few years of direct confirmation study. Christians learn from ‘His Word’ continuously as they sit together at Jesus’ feet in the Christian congregation and in the Christian home. From ‘His Word’, they learn to believe that they are sinners, learn repentance, learn to confess their sins, and they learn to trust in HIM for the forgiveness of sins. They also call upon HIM in prayer, they also confess their faith before the world, learn to confess their sins, and to forgive one another as ‘Christ has forgiven them’.

Catechesis involves much more than an ‘academic classroom’. It involves doing these things that Christians will continue to do for the rest of their lives. Weekly in the ‘Divine Service’, Christ comes to each one of us offering the forgiveness of sins, opportunity to hear ‘His Word’, receive the Lord’s Supper, confess, forgive, and live in his or her vocation. Each week a culture of prayer is established in which the catechism can be learned by faith and life. Here at St. Peter each week, we have the opportunity to pray and follow ‘A Guide to Daily Meditation & Prayer’. This weekly guide, provided in the church bulletin, reviews the theme of the Sunday of the Church Year, following points from the Divine Service, the Word of God, The Catechism, Daily Psalms and Readings, Hymn of the Week, Collect for the Sunday of the Church Year, Daily Themes for prayer, and also ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. Each week in the Sunday School and Adult Bible Class opening, this is reinforced and taught to both youth and adults alike.

The program in ‘The Lutheran Catechesis’ represents a customized approach to learning the ‘faith’. The word ‘Catechesis’ is from the Greek meaning to ‘echo’ the process of repeating the questions and answers as found in the ‘Small Catechism’ of Dr. Martin Luther.

Summarized points that are unique to the program are noted below:

> Faith in Christ is the goal of all Catechesis –
> Catechesis is God’s way of teaching the Word of God by which faith is established –
> Catechesis establishes preaching and teaching the Word of God as the center of the congregations life –
> Catechesis passes on the language of our faith as a gift rather than being force fed –
> The Christian life of faith is lived from the Word of God that is received and believed –
> The Christian life of faith has definite expressions –

  • in the ongoing reception of God’s gifts in the Divine Service
  • in the daily prayer of the Christian
  • in the confession of one’s faith in the world
  • in the confession of one’s sins to God
  • in forgiving the sins of those who have sinned against us
  • in living by faith in Christ in the vocation to which God has called us

> The Small Catechism preserves for us the ‘pattern of sound words’ 2 Timothy 1:13, so that this functions as both a prayer book and a handbook for the Christian faith and life –
> The chief reason why the catechism is memorized or ‘learned by heart’ is so that it can shape the faith and understanding of the catechumen and be used throughout life as we interpret Scripture, listen to preaching, receive the absolution, pray, confess and live in our callings/vocations.

For Children in our St. Peter Day School, the Pastor meets twice a week for instruction.

For Children in the public school the following meet as noted:

> Fifth and Sixth Grades – Wednesday afternoon from 4:30-5:45 pm, classroom teaching, from 5:45-6 pm, a short time of teaching about Family Devotions is shared. The course of study is The Catechesis Series, Old Testament Catechesis, by Peter C. Bender.
> Seventh and Eighth Grades – Wednesday afternoon from 4:30-5:45 pm. At 5:45-6 pm, Pastor Conducts a short time of teaching on Family Devotions. The course study is The Catechesis Series, New Testament Catechesis.

If you have any questions about this program, you may contact the Church Secretary, and you will be assisted with any questions about the program.