Craig A Meissner
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.