The word “catechesis” is based on a Greek word found in the New Testament that means “to teach.” Catechesis involves learning not only knowledge and information, but also habits and practices that are shaped and formed by God’s Word as it has been used and prayed throughout the history of the Church catholic. Catechesis seeks to form a Christian in both their profession and practice of the faith.
The focus of all catechesis at Faith Lutheran Church is the Catechism. The Catechism is the collection of basic Christian texts that state the Christian faith and are part of the catholic (universal) heritage shared by all Christians. These texts are: the Ten Commandments, the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, as well as the institution texts of Holy Baptism (Matthew 28:19-20), Holy Absolution (John 20:23), and the Words of Institution of the Lord’s Supper (found in Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22, and also 1Corinthians 11).
Junior Catechesis at Faith Lutheran Church is a three year process of formation in the Christian faith for children in the 6th – 8th grades. The first two years involve reading various stories from the Old and New Testaments. Discussion of these Bible stories provides the opportunity to introduce doctrinal topics that will be studied in-depth in the third year. The third year involves study of the teachings of the Evangelical Lutheran Faith, as it is drawn from the texts of the Catechism listed above. In addition to the Bible, the primary tool for the third year of catechesis is Martin Luther’s Small Catechism, as the Small Catechism provides simple texts of explanation of the texts of the Catechism.
Throughout all three years of Junior Catechesis at Faith Lutheran Church, the pastor teaches the children the Evangelical Lutheran Faith by using the Catechism and its explanations in Luther’s Small Catechism. Attention is also given to the ways that Jesus Christ comes to us in the Divine Service of His Word & Sacraments, and how we in-turn respond to that Service with praise and thanksgiving.
Junior Catechesis for 6th and 7th Graders takes place every Wednesday evening during the school year, beginning after Labor Day. Junior Catechesis for 8th Graders begins a little sooner – usually the middle of August – meeting also every Wednesday evening, until the time of the children’s Confirmation, in mid-May. Meeting times vary throughout the school year. Please contact the church office for times.