JUNIOR CATECHESIS AND
LEARN BY HEART
6:00 and 7:00 p.m. (September to May)
The word “catechesis” is based on a Greek word found in the New Testament that means “to teach.” Junior Catechesis at Good Shepherd is a two year process of formation in the Christian faith. The focus of catechesis is the Catechism. The Catechism is the collection of basic Christian texts (the Ten Commandments, Apostles’ Creed, Lord’s Prayer and the biblical institution texts of Holy Baptism, Holy Absolution and the Lord’s Supper) that state the Christian faith and are part of the catholic (universal) heritage shared by all Christians. The tool used in catechesis is Luther’s Small Catechism. The Small Catechism provides simple yet profound explanations of the texts of the Catechism.
Catechesis involves the reception of knowledge and information. At the same time, it also involves habits and practices as lives are shaped and formed by God’s Word and the catholic (universal) practices that confess and teach the faith drawn from God’s Word. Catechesis seeks to form a Christian in both profession and practice of the faith.
Junior Catechesis at Good Shepherd involves two alternating years. In one year, Catechesis involves a survey of the primary biblical narratives of the Old and New Testament. This brings the individual stories learned in Sunday School into a unified picture of how God worked out His plan of salvation. Discussion of these narratives provides the opportunity to introduce doctrinal topics that will be treated in the next year, or to review those topics from the previous year. The other alternating year takes up the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church using the Catechism and its explanation in Luther’s Small Catechism. Attention is also given to the ways that Jesus Christ comes to us in the Divine Service and we in turn respond in praise and thanksgiving.
Junior Catechesis for Seventh and Eighth graders takes place on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. from September to May. This is followed by Learn by Heart at 7:00. Learn by Heart is a thirty minute catechetical service for parents and youth. It provides the opportunity to grow through interaction with God’s Word and the Catechism in the setting of worship.