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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Catechumens catching on

The Catechism Lesson  (Muenier, 1890)
As Pastor Clint Schnekloth explains, there are elegant and inelegant ways of doing things.

After carefully studying Paul Hoffman's Faith Forming Faith: Bringing New Christians to Baptism and Beyond, Schnekloth decided that Hoffman's revival of the catechumenate (ancient "rites of Christian initiation for adults") belonged in the "elegant" category.

Schnekloth therefore went about putting Hoffman's ideas into practice.  He and a leadership team at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Fayetteville, Arkansas began inviting visitors and seekers "to periodic inquiry sessions on Sunday evenings."  These sessions were held during the fall season.

The next stage of the catechumenate began a short time after Christmas.  Participants from the fall sessions
were formally invited to a Rite of Welcome during Sunday worship.  They were then matched on a one-to-one basis with members of the congregation who would serve as spiritual mentors.

The group henceforth met every week for "a supper and bible study, interspersed with brief lessons on the 
catechism and Christian faith and life."  This bible study included much room for questions and explorations.

Baptisms occurred at the Easter Vigil (on the night before Easter Sunday).


Copyright November 20, 2013 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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