Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for Children
Catechesis for the Good Shepherd is a Christian Formation curriculum designed for children ages 3-12. It is a religious education program grounded in scripture and liturgy, and enriched with prayer, worship and a spirit of celebration.
The Purpose of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is to KNOW God.
(The goal of most teaching methods is to know ABOUT God.)
Children as young as three participate in all aspects of Catechesis. As they learn to read, and at each stage of maturing, they dig deeper. They see that what we learn makes a difference in how we live. Their questions and discoveries become more and more mature each year. We focus on:
Each Sunday we say our prayers. Prayer is the core of Episcopal faith.
We study the Bible to learn what Jesus taught and what Jesus did when he lived on earth.
In our map studies, we learn history and geography.
Wondering and Sharing
Jesus taught by telling stories called parables and by the way he treated people. We tell Jesus’ stories and parables and wonder what Jesus is teaching us about living our lives as Christians, as followers of Jesus.
Baptism and Eucharist
Jesus taught us, his disciples, that he would be with us whenever we break bread together.
Jesus told his disciples to baptize –baptism is the symbol of our relationship with God and each other.
We talk about the meaning of what we say and do.
We talk about how sacraments bind us to God, to each other, and to all of God’s creation.
In everything we do in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, we learn how to live faithfully as Christians. Classes are small so each child gets a lot of attention and support in his or her Christian journey. We take children seriously, and we make a safe place for them to explore the same difficult questions adults explore: Who is God? Who am I? Why do people have to die? Why are there tornadoes and war and tsunamis?
We don’t try to entertain children – they have plenty of opportunities for play. Their opportunities to learn to talk about and live their faith are limited and we take them seriously. When children participate regularly they fall in love with God. What more can we give them to navigate the uncertainty of the world we live in?
We have about 24 hours each year to do this work of getting to know God.
We have about 24 hours each year to thank God in worship.
We have the rest of our lives to practice thinking and living like Jesus, with God’s help.
We have the Holy Spirit 24/7 to guide, to prod, to inspire, and to comfort us.
True Vine 2nd & 3rd Graders
The True Vine is a parable in the New Testament (John 15: 1-11). True Vine is also the name of the atrium (room) where the 2nd and 3rd graders meet on Sunday mornings to learn about Jesus, the True Vine.
Jesus used parables for teaching and so do we. We study The Good Samaritan, The Pharisee and the Tax Collector, The Insistent Friend, The 10 Bridesmaids, The Wedding Feast, and The Sower. Bible study is introduced and eagerly approached at this age.
These children are interested in moral formation. The Greatest Commandment, Ten Commandments, and Maxims for Christian living are our sources. They begin to understand why we worship like we do in the Episcopal Church and learn more about Holy Baptism and Holy Eucharist. Because they are also interested in geography, we study the cities and bodies of water where Jesus traveled teaching and healing. We pray and we talk about how all of this relates to our every day lives.