Catechetics--Lutheran churches

Post-divine service catechesis in Luther's Catechisms: reforming congregational identity

Author
Craig A Meissner
Abstract
A Northern Illinois parish with a strong catechetical tradition in former years had recently seen significant membership losses. Other great changes were pending as it was losing one of its main buildings. With the congregation subsequently facing an identity crisis, the researcher proposed and conducted five to ten-minute catechetical sessions based on Luther's Catechisms for the whole congregation immediately following the Sunday Divine Service. Data was collected assessing beliefs, desires, practices, and activities indicative of member and congregational self-identity. The experiment proved to significantly strengthen members' identity as Christians, increasing in faith, hope, love, and knowledge of Christian doctrine while conducted, as well as a mild increase in participation in parish life.

Improving New Member Catechesis and Integration at Grace Lutheran Church, Tulsa, Oklahoma, by means of a Lutheran Catechumenate

Author
Christian C Tiews
Abstract
Borrowing a concept from the Early Church and the Roman Catholic RCIA, the author-a Lutheran pastor-implemented a nine month long new member class in his church. This deviates from most new member classes, which are often only a few hours in length. Surveying the 44 catechumens and other participants, who represented a sample/small subgroup and cross section of the total congregational population, the author showed quantitatively that the long period of instruction markedly improved the catechesis of the new members, created a stronger Lutheran identity in them, and improved their integration within the congregation.

Cooperative catechesis: a model for equipping Lutheran parents and pastors to catechize children in the Christian faith

Author
Phillip E Booe
Abstract
The problem this project addressed was the decline of parental involvement in and responsibility for the Christian catechesis of their children in the context of the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synold and, in particular, the New England District. The researcher approached this project from a postmodern theoretical perspective. Using grounded-theory and phenomenological methodology, the researcher surveyed parents and pastors through an online survey and follow-up interviews. Informed by the findings, the researcher developed a cooperative catechesis model that went beyond traditional catechesis approaches. The model emphasized lifelong catechesis beginning at birth and continuing throughout one's life across four stages.

Catechetical preaching: a purposeful element for faith formation

Abstract
Catechetical preaching was an instrumental element of the Reformation. Preaching the basics of the Christian faith from Martin Luther's Small Catechism continues to provide a framework for people to understand God and themselves. This form of preaching bridges between those who live in Christ and those who live outside the church. The Success Case Method was used to determine the best practices for including catechetical preaching in the faith formation program of Lutheran congregations.

A catechetical curriculum for persons with intellectual disabilities

Author
Denise H Brown
Abstract
This is a catechetical curriculum for persons with intellectual disabilities living at the Filling Home. The curriculum requires no reading skills. Using Martin Luther's Small Catechism and basic Bible stories the residents will learn, as they are able, the love God has for them. An Affirmation of Baptism service is included. The intent of this service is to enable these people and their families to celebrate this milestone in their lives. Persons with intellectual disabilities are thirsting to learn about the love God has for them. It is up to us to discover ways to allow them to know God and God's love for all God's children.

Recalling the Lutheran catechism through hymns and congregational songs

Author
Robert R Wagner
Abstract
Martin Luther's catechisms are a primary means of introducing Lutherans to the Christian faith. I attempt to show that the repetitive use of congregationally well-known and catechetically related hymns and congregational songs can be an important tool for reinforcing catechetical learning. Through the project, I match a group of twenty-six well-known hymns of a specific congregation with the six sections of Martin Luther's Small Catechism. These hymns intentionally highlight primary themes of the catechism. This corpus of hymns also reflects the importance of matching hymn and song texts with music that is singable by the majority of people.

Becoming who you are in Christ: a Lutheran and van Kaamian approach to spiritual growth

Author
Frederick P Schenker
Abstract
Spiritual formation in mainline denominations has fallen on hard times. Research agencies such as the Search Institute have rated Lutherans lowest in the areas of faith maturity and growth in faith maturity among Protestant denominations. Such studies indicate a lack of integration of faith understanding into holy living. The author's thesis utilizes Martin Luther's formative approach to the catechism and Adrian van Kaam's formation science to facilitate the integration of belief and faith practice for Lutherans as well as other faith traditions. The author has designed a six-week course to put this thesis into practice. After completing the course, participants in the study group showed stronger integration in their beliefs and lifestyles.

Adapting and field-testing the ancient catechumenate at Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church, Saint Louis, Missouri

Author
Dennis F Lucero
Abstract
This project proposes and prepares a plan and manuals to adapt the ancient catechumenate for congregations of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in a way that is theologically consistent with Lutheran confessions and employs excellent teaching methods and practice, testing them in Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church (Saint Louis, Mo). A theology of education and experiences of Roman Catholic and Episcopal churches with the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults inform the plan to adapt the ancient catechumenate in LC-MS congregations.

The voyage of the Corpus Christi: an interactive game-based aid for teaching the catechism

Author
Jeffrey W Elliott
Abstract
This project proposes and prepares an interactive game-based aid for teaching Martin Luther's Small Catechism, testing with three confirmation classes over a six-year period in Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (Brant Beach, NJ). The Voyage of the Corpus Christi transports six young people from twentieth-century New Jersey to a strange world in which parts of the Small Catechism and basic Lutheran theological concepts have become places and people. Confirmation students learn about baptism, the Ten Commandments, the Apostle's Creed, repentance, the Lord's Prayer, holy communion, and grace as they join the journey.

From apathy to action: an adult catechism for Lutherans

Author
Mark A Scott
Abstract
Genuine evangelism springs from education. Lutheran congregations can benefit from an intentional catechetical course for adults. This project outlines development of a catechetical course in seven sessions for Lutheran adults, including study of baptism, prayer and confession, communion, healing, the church, discipleship, and caregiving. Drawing on the history of the church, the course brings issues of faith into current perspective using the "shared praxis" approach to teaching. The project reports the response of one congregation as members moved from apathy to action of Christian discipleship enabled and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
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