Welcome and thank you...

...for joining me as I journey to ordination to Holy Orders in the Episcopal Church USA. I will journal my hopes and fears, my joys and disappointments that I experience in the process. I'll think aloud my pastoral theology and my theology in general along with my observations about the ECUSA.

If you're looking for in-depth theological discussions or arguments, you've come to the wrong place. However, if you wish to walk with me on this journey - welcome and thank you.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Catechesis

After each diocesan convention I've attended I leave with the same sinking feeling - I'm just not "episcopalian enough." When I first became a member of the ECUSA, I went through a "journey class" that included small groups discussing what it means for us to live in baptism, to be Christ's church and representatives in the world, and to be part of the ECUSA. What didn't happen was the teaching of the church's liturgy and rituals. This is important to me.

I've since read books and I've learned the correct times during Mass to genuflect, make the sign of the cross, to kneel, to stand, etc. But something still feels off; something isn't connecting. I've often made these statements to my friend whose been worshipping in the ECUSA since 1970 and she says I'll get it eventually. It's been over 5 years and each time I assist at Eucharist, I still feel out of place. Where is my confidence?
While at the diocesan convention I saw an exhibit for catechesis. This particular program is focused on the religious formation of children. It is rooted in the Bible and the liturgy of the church using the Montessori teaching method. I saw beautiful minatures that depict the books of the Bible, bible stories, Eucharist table, and salvation history. It was amazing.

Now, where is this for adults who are new to the ECUSA? My husband and mother-in-law have informed me that in the Roman Catholic Church new converts, adults and children, have to attend catechism. When I thought about becoming a member of the Roman Church, I was told by the parish priest that it would be required. This should be an opportunity given to new ECUSA members. How else do you learn what you are doing and why?

I'm now signed up to attend class with 9-12 year olds and I can hardly wait!

2 comments:

Revvy Rev said...

I understand. I feel out of place as well, in the denomination of my birth and in which I have been practicing several decades. But, I am not sure that I ever will. So I kind of get used to feeling that way instead of getting it. Good luck with the little ones. They can be humbling and inspiring.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

I commend you for attending class with the little ones!

When I think back, there was no type of program of that nature for adults. My reception class only spoke of the Episcopal church, its history, doctrines. Yet, the 1979 BCP has some information on when to sit/stand. But you're right, it is not enough.

When I became Episcopalian, I too had been Roman Catholic, but raised in the tradition, and the practices are similar enough that I could catch on (by remembering what used to be done in the Catholic church), although I still make mistakes at times!

It would be so much more challenging to have to be the one in the front knowing what has to be done and when--just reading some of the books ministers use make me go: Oh my, I don't think I could do that!

I have heard too about the catechisis. A church I was once a member of had a great program and a female priest who did the children's ministry, leading the program. Hint, hint, since you will have had more recent experience with it???

Smile.