Adult Education Series: The Catechism
Sunday, September 19th: Now that we have made our way through Daniel, we are taking a few weeks to work our way through the Catechism in the Book of Common Prayer on pages 845-862, or available in PDF here. For our first week, we will focus on the sections ‘Human Nature,’ ‘God the Father,’ ‘The Old Covenant,’ and ‘The Ten Commandments.’ These initial sections will lay the groundwork for the following sections on Jesus, the Spirit, and the Christian life. Fr. Will will walk us through these questions with ample time for discussions and questions.
Sept. 26th, we will continue our journey through the Catechism this week by focusing on the sections ‘The Ten Commandments’, ‘Sin and Redemption’, and ‘God the Son.’ In the story of salvation, we are moving from the time of anticipation of the Messiah to the fulfillment of that desire in Jesus Christ. In terms of the creeds, we are moving from the first to the second article, from the Father to the Son. We will look at the rationale of the Ten Commandments, the problem of sin, and how the Messiah moves us forward.
October 3rd, we continue to make our way through the catechism this week. We will turn to the sections ‘God the Son,’ ‘The New Covenant,’ and ‘The Creeds.’ Much of our discussion so far has been looking back to the Old Covenant but now we turn to think about Jesus and the life of the church. These sections are a hinge opening up the door to later discussions of Scripture, Sacraments, and the Christian Hope.
October 10th, the discussion will continue, focusing this Sunday on the sections: The Creeds, The Holy Spirit, and The Holy Scriptures. We will also use some of our time to list questions we hope will have been answered by the time we have completed this series on the Catechism.
Oct. 17th, our journey continues this week with the sections on the Holy Spirit, the Holy Scriptures, and the Church. These sections represent a turn to the practices and the routines we ourselves know in our everyday lives. We will think about how we see the Holy Spirit in our lives, what it means to think of the Scriptures as inspired, and just where is the Church today. Our time this week will begin with picking up some lingering questions from last week before we move on to these topics.
Oct. 24th, following on from our discussion of the Holy Spirit, we now take up the sections in the catechism that focus on the church. We will look at the sections ‘The Church,’ ‘The Ministry,’ and ‘Prayer and Worship.’ We can compare these questions in our catechism with some of our earlier historic views on the church. See Articles XIX, XX, XXI, XXIII, and XXIV on pages 871-872 in the Book of Common Prayer, and the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral on pages 876-877. They will show us how things have changed and what has been constant in our understanding of the church, and provide a way for us to think about how we carry those ideas into the future.
Oct. 31st, we are continuing our journey through the catechism while slowing our pace somewhat. We will look at the sections on ‘Prayer and Worship’ and ‘The Sacraments.’ Our section on prayer lists a few different kinds of prayer. It will be helpful if we can look through that list to see what of those sorts of prayer we actually make use of ourselves. We will then be able to look at the sacraments in general before moving on next week to look specifically at Baptism and Eucharist.
Nov. 7th, our time together this week will focus on the sacraments. We will look at the questions in the catechism about ‘Holy Baptism,’ ‘The Holy Eucharist,’ and ‘Other Sacramental Rites.’ Last week we began our discussion of the sacraments by thinking about them as outward signs conveying an inward grace. This week we will be looking at what those outward signs and inward graces are for the sacraments we celebrate regularly in our church. As we move to look on sacraments beyond baptism and eucharist, we will take some time to think of how Jesus does or does not explicitly command us to celebrate these other sacramental rites.
Nov. 14th, we are coming at last to the end of the Catechism. We will look at the last two sections: ‘Other Sacramental Rites‘ and ‘The Christian Hope.’ I am sure we will find much to talk about in the section on Christian Hope as it presents the four last things, death, judgement, heaven, and hell to us. It will be helpful if you can look over the section on sacramental rites to see if you yourself have made use of any of them.
Nov. 21st, we are coming to the end of our time going through the Catechism by turning to the last things. These last things are a traditional theme for Advent so it will be good for us to think through them together before the season arrives. We will go through the section titled ‘The Christian Hope.’ It will be helpful if we can look through a few Scripture passages as well. Please read through Amos 9:11-15, Matthew 24:23-31, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, and Revelation 22:1-7.
Nov. 28th, we will be wrapping up our discussion of the Catechism and looking ahead to what comes next. We will give some time at the beginning to pick up any lingering questions, concerns, or comments from our time spent going through the Catechism together. After that discussion, we will look ahead to our next series on Evangelism. Our discussions will be based around the work of the current Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, who wrote a book Catholic Evangelism for the Affirming Catholicism book series. Cottrell’s work focuses on how churches can create a culture of evangelism while remaining open, affirming, and Anglo-Catholic.
Sunday mornings at 9:15, you can access our meeting by any of the following methods: