Lutherans--Identity

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.

Called, gathered, enlightened and sanctified: using Luther's catechisms and Bowen family systems theory to move beyond chronic parish anxiety and conflict toward vibrant mission

Author
Amy C Little
Abstract
The author of this program planning model project asserts that a baseline of health and well-being is needed to move a chronically anxious congregation toward mission. Using Bowen Family Systems Theory and Luther's Catechisms, pastoral leaders will be aided in facilitating positive change in the congregation including a deeper Lutheran identity and communal self-awareness in the face of conflict. By examining the eight concepts of Bowen Family Systems Theory and applying them to two Reformation-era conflicts, Luther's Small and Large Catechisms, and the biblical story of Jacob and Esau, the author develops exercises and discussion questions for the pastor to engage self and congregation towards health and mission.
Subscribe to Lutherans--Identity