Catechesis News

October 2, 2018
By Mary

October 2018

So much is going on in Catechesis! The little ones are learning about the items that go on the altar in Service, the geography of Israel (Yes! We teach them geography!), the parable of the Good Shepherd and other lessons. Levels 2 and 3 are learning the BIG lessons of the Ribbon work and the Plan of God. The kids love these lessons! We learn that God has created EVERYTHING from Creation to Redemption to Parousia and given it as gift to us. How amazing is that! By Level 3, we are talking about how we collaborate with God in bringing about the Kingdom of God.

The best example of this collaboration happened a couple of Sundays ago. It was the first weekend of fall break and there were very few kids and very few Catechists. Therefore, I needed to go to be in the Level 1 atrium, but I had no one to take my Level 3 kids. They went to help in the Level 2 atrium and gave lessons to the younger children. This beautiful engagement of the older children with the younger children IS what brings about the Kingdom of God! They were being kind, helpful, at the same time that they were showing God’s light by their words and actions. One fifth-grade boy came to me afterward and volunteered to come back and help when he was old enough. He was so excited and had enjoyed the time so much! By involving our children in helping others, we instill the light of Christ in them. The Kingdom of God is near!

In the love of the Good Shepherd,
Betsy Brown, Catechesis Coordinator

September 2018

New Catechesis Parents: We will have training for parents to become assistant helpers in the atrium in September, so please mark your calendars. Training will be on Wednesday evenings, September 12 and 19, from 6-8pm in F-026. You will be receiving an email as follow up.What is happening on Sundays in Catechesis?

Level 1 news: The children are encountering God’s Word every Sunday in their presentations. They have seen how important the Bible is and why we revere it. If they go into the Sanctuary, they will see the altar, the altar cloth, the candles and the cross, just as they have worked with in their atrium. Meanwhile, they are learning concentration and contemplation through the work of their hands as they work with Practical Life materials.

Level 2 news: As we begin the year, we talk about God’s plan for his people. The children work with a long ribbon that shows all of God’s time – from creating the world, to sending his Son to die and rise again for us at Redemption, all the way to Parousia, when “God will be all in all.” They are making their own timelines to remember all these events. Soon, they will start working with the Bible, learning the books of the Bible, and learning how to look up citations.

Level 3 news: The children have spent time thinking about many ways to pray so that we can hear what God is saying to us and we can share our needs and concerns with him. The kids have made prayer cards they can keep at home to remind them of God’s love. We recently started on The Plan of God, including all the inventions and gifts handed down from generation-to-generation, as well as the gifts that God has given us through Jesus. Then we wonder, “How can I help the Kingdom of God to happen?” We all want to know what our place is in God’s Plan and how we can help bring about peace and harmony in this world.

In the love of the Good Shepherd,
Betsy Brown, Catechesis Coordinator, Children’s Ministry

February 2018

This month, as we prepare ourselves for the Lenten season, each of the levels in Catechesis is focused on Parables of the Kingdom of God. We want to explore what the Kingdom of God is like, and why we want to be a part of it.In Matthew 13:10-13, 16-17:
His disciples came and asked him, “Why do you use parables when you talk to the people”?
He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. That is why I use these parables, for they look, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand. But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but they didn’t see it. And they longed to hear, but they didn’t hear it.The children will start with the Parable of the Mustard Seed, and then the Parable of the Precious Pearl. You would be amazed at the comments that children make when we talk about these parables. At each level, they have different comments based on their understanding of their own faith and their ability to express in words what they are feeling. So at level one, the comments might include things like, “I’m little like the mustard seed.” In level two, they might expand their discussion and say, “I want to be like the mustard seed, so that I can grow and share my faith with others.” By level three, the kids begin to understand how precious God’s love is and how big God’s love is for us. Then they ask themselves how they could help further the Kingdom of God, because the more we work toward the Kingdom of God, the sooner we will realize Parousia. As we read the parables, we contemplate what Jesus is trying to tell us. Each year, the same scripture gives us new nuggets to think about. That’s why we say these are the “living words” of God.We have many new children who have been added to our rolls since KidCity rolled out. We are so happy to welcome Alex Eaton, Mary Friel, Kate Heslep, Ethan Munna, Rhett Sutherland, Grayson Flotta, Blake Guichard, Eleanor Kerr, Lily Lancaster, Lydia Gust, James Larson, Grant Adkisson, Charlotte Fann, Miles Gonzales, Anne-Gregory Herren, Cecilia Hinkle, Walker Hinkle, Ellis Lee, Collin Lewis, Elizabeth Pennington, Izabella Zickefoose, Eli Adkisson, Ella Cooper, and Hannah Cooper. And thank you parents, for bringing your children to Catechesis!

In the love of the Good Shepherd,
Betsy Brown, Catechesis Coordinator, Children’s Ministry

December 2017

We always look forward to the church starting its New Year at Advent! Advent is such a wonderful time to think about the prophets speaking God’s word to the Israelites and giving hope of a Messiah to come. We wonder aloud – how are we preparing ourselves for this Messiah in our hearts?The children will be discussing prophecies from the Old Testament starting at age 3 and delving more in depth as they grow older. We will then talk about the Angel Gabriel coming to Mary, Mary visiting Elizabeth, the Birth of Jesus, and the Adoration of the Shepherds. After the New Year, we will talk about the Adoration of the Magi, the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, and the Flight to Egypt. These are the many ways we discover who this child is that was born. We ponder who He is. We ponder what the angels had to say. We ponder what Mary and Joseph must have been thinking. We ponder what the shepherds must have thought. There is so much to think about!As parents, remember to keep the focus on what an awesome event this was! Our Savior was born! Jesus is God’s GREATEST gift to us and we want to prepare for receiving this gift as well as how we respond to this gift.In Catechesis, we will also be preparing for some changes coming in Children’s that will affect us. Since “the Burbs” will be expanding to “KidCity” in the Fellowship Hall in January, and there will no longer be Sunday school, we will be adding a Level 2 atrium at 11am for the new children who will be coming to church for two hours. More information to come. And depending on how many new children we have coming to Level 1, we may need to open up a 9:30 atrium. Again, we will keep you informed. If you have any questions about all the changes taking place in Children’s Ministry, please contact me at [email protected].

Blessings to you and your family,
Betsy Brown, Catechesis Coordinator

October 2017

Do you know what time it is in the liturgical cycle of the church? You can ask your child in Catechesis, and they will tell you that it is still the “Growing Time” of the church. So we continue to learn about the church, such as the items on the altar and the colors of the liturgical calendar. We also learn about the Bible, God’s Plan for us, and the Kingdom of God.

In Level 1, we have been proclaiming the Word of God through parables, learning about the liturgical calendar, doing practical life lessons, and learning about the articles on the altar and the colors of the liturgical seasons. We will continue working with parables throughout October. The children will hear about the Kingdom of God and the mustard seed, the Precious Pearl and the Good Shepherd. We talk about how precious the Kingdom of God is, how much the Good Shepherd loves us and protects us, and how the Kingdom of God can grow like a mustard seed. This is the foundation of our work in Level 1, to learn about God’s great love for us all and how He seeks us out and finds us, calls us by name, and leads us to green pastures.

The Level 2 children have been learning about the Plan of God from Creation through Redemption and to Parousia. God has something in mind for all of us, and He wants us to understand how we fit into this plan. We learn that God prepares everything for us humans when we arrive on earth at Creation. It is like a banquet that God invites us to where everything is prepared for us so that we may enjoy the banquet. God gives us so many gifts! We are also winding down on work on the Holy Bible. The children have been writing out all the books of the Bible on tongue depressors and taping them together to make a wall chart. Throughout this month we will meditate further on the parables and begin work on the Eucharist.

The Level 3 children have been doing BIG work! We have been talking about God’s Plan and how we contribute to the Plan of God. We’ve talked about how our actions and words can be FOR the Plan of God or AGAINST the Plan of God. This helps us make better decisions. The children have been drawing their own Plan of God on register tape to remind them of the Gifts that God has given us and the gifts through inventions and contributions to society that man has passed along from generation to generation. We receive a bounty from God and from man. Who discovered the wheel, we do not know. But we still use that invention to this day. That person’s contribution to our lives still lives on. And God’s contribution and gifts to us are too many to mention, but the greatest gift to us was the gift of His Son. We are now wrapping up a study of the Prophets in the Old Testament, their calls to a vocation and the struggles they had in being God’s messengers.At 9:30, the Levels 2 and 3 atria have also been doing the Financial Peace curriculum for kids. Yesterday they received their Spending/Saving/Giving containers and there were a lot of happy children! So as parents, please help your children learn how to do all three with any money they receive. It’s important to start these habits early! Don’t wait until they are young adults and have to learn this on their own. You will set most of them up for failure!Note to parents: If you would like to come in and observe your child in the atrium, please contact me and we will make that happen. They do amazing work and we would love for you to watch it in action!

Blessings to you and your family,
Betsy Brown, Catechesis Coordinator

September 2017

The children have now been coming for a month to Catechesis and have all settled into a wonderful routine.  Having all of our rooms next to each other again has been a real plus for us.  I hope it has made life easier for you too.Training newsWe have three people this year in training to become Catechists. That means that by next year, we can have two Level 1 classes again, one at 9:30am and one at 11am.  We are excited that we’ll be able to take more children of that age.

The Level 1 children have been learning about the Altar in the Sanctuary and the items that are placed on it. They have also been learning the liturgical colors so that when they go into “big” church, they will be able to tell you what the color of the minister’s stole means!

The Level 2 children are learning all about God’s gifts to us – from the entire planet, stars, and everything in the cosmos to the smallest seed on earth. He created it all and gave it to us, His people, for us to be the caretakers. How amazing it is that God gives us so much!  We are so thankful, and we praise God! They are also studying the books of the Bible and making timelines and writing out the books of the Bible on popsicle sticks.

The Level 3 children are learning about God’s Plan for us. We have been talking about the gifts that He gives us; we have been making timelines of the History of the Kingdom of God, and beginning our work on the Plan of God. One of our discussions has been whether our actions are for the Plan of God, or against the Plan of God. The 9:30 Levels 2 and 3 classes have also been learning the concepts taught in Financial Peace for children. They are learning that God gives us everything and asks us to be good stewards. Money is a gift from God who asks us to care for it and use it wisely. We will continue to follow the Financial Peace curriculum as well as our lessons in Catechesis for the next several weeks. We’re off to a great start to the year! Parents, thank you for bringing your children consistently to Catechesis. In that quiet space, they are able to hear God’s voice. And isn’t that what we all want for our children?

Betsy Brown, Catechesis Coordinator