Illinois--Church history

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.

Because of their faith, they took action! The story of the founding of Geneseo, Illinois, their part on the underground railroad, and the connection to the Charles Finney revivals, the Lane rebellion, and the founding of Oberlin College

Author
Monica K Corsaro
Abstract
Today the people of Geneseo (Pleasant Valley), Illinois, do not know an important part of their history. Their town was founded to be a hub on the Underground Railroad. While many citizens of Geneseo today know that, they do not know that the founding of the town was part of an organized national strategy put forth by seminarians at Harvard and activists from western New York. This project will serve as a permanent resource in the Geneseo, Illinois Historical Museum. For the first time visitors will be able to discover in a comprehensive way the connections that have been made between the founders of Geneseo and the larger abolitionist movement of 19th-century America. This project chronicles the journeys of the Geneseo founding families, particularly the Allan brothers William and James. The project is interactive, using artifacts, video, student exercises, and storytelling to give the people of this important chapter of American history a voice.
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