There are four gospels in the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Historians think they were written as “teaching” documents (the technical term is “catechetical texts,”) intended to preserve and pass down the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth for adult converts drawn to Jesus’ life and ministry.
Gradually, over many centuries, Christianity came to be a religion that people were born into rather than a faith that adults chose for themselves. Today, many of us are baptized as infants: the choice to become a Christian made on our behalf before we are conscious of deciding anything for ourselves.
In the second half of the 20th century, as cultural Christianity began to decline in the United States and more and more adults came to churches like Trinity to explore Christian faith and practice for the first time (or for the first time in a long time!) a revival of the ancient catechetical practices of the Church was initiated.
At Trinity, this new/old tradition began with Canon Emerita Mary Sicilia, who taught the first adult Catechesis classes at Trinity in the mid-1990s.
For thirty years, Trinity has been a leader in the Episcopal Church in helping adults claim or re-claim a vision of Christian faith and practice that makes sense in a diverse, religiously plural, largely secular society.
So who is Catechesis for?
Anybody who is ready to ask deep questions without needing to respond immediately with easy answers.
Anybody who is drawn to the liturgy (the public worship) of the Christian tradition and seeks to understand how it works and what it means.
Anyone who is returning to faith, drawn to faith, maybe even repelled by faith – but is open to the prompting of the Spirit, longing to make a fresh start in this community.
Anybody seeking baptism or confirmation (or reception, if you were already baptized or confirmed in a different Christian tradition).
Anybody seeking to renew the vows they made, or that were made on their behalf, at the time of their baptism. Anybody who is curious about Christianity and how we put it into practice in the Episcopal Church.
Catechesis is my favorite course to teach at Trinity. Whether you’ve been a Christian all your life or whether you’re not sure what you are yet but seek to ask some ancient questions in new ways, we'd love to have you join us!
Jan 3 - May 22, 2024 (7:00-8:30 pm)