Adult Formation | Catechesis
Current Series: Bodies Matter – Implications of Easter for Everyday Life
When God became incarnate in Jesus Christ and took on a human body He forever established the importance of body. This was only further reinforced when Jesus was resurrected in a body, a body the gospels tell us was even capable of eating. Easter tells us that bodies matter. And then to cap this off, the material body took on an eternal dimension when Jesus bodily ascended to the Father – forever taking our human flesh into the experience of the Trinity. All of this tells us that bodies matter!
God created bodies to begin with and said they were good. But the effects of sin have had a devastating impact on the body and the rest of the created order. The body is a spiritual war-zone, a place of battle between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness. This has never been more pronounced than in the era in which we live (though this is certainly not new – see Gnosticism in the 2nd/3rd century). There is enormous confusion both inside and outside the Church about the body. Our world is very much in need of a thoughtful and faithful theology of the body with guidance about its place in Christian faithfulness.
Goals for Bodies Matter:
- To set out a positive, non-reactionary vision of the body for Christian living while engaging the complexity and challenges of 21st century secular life from a theological framework of incarnation / new creation that calls us to live all of life in reference to Christ.
- To cultivate a proactive faithful intuition so that we begin to intuitively engage life and all its complexity from a Christian standpoint.
- To create a conversational space to engage and explore some of the messiness and scariness of the “hot button” issues of life as a Christian.
Topics we’ll explore:
- The body in Christian thought and practice
- Vanity, trauma, confusion, disease: The body and the effects of sin
- Identity, gender, race
- A positive vision of sexuality: marriage, singleness, and the purpose of sexuality
- Death, grief, and resurrection
- Pregnancy, birth control, and abortion
- The body and technology
- The body and emotions
- The body and suffering
- Health, Wholeness, and Holiness
- Addiction and healing
- The Body and Spiritual Formation
…about Formation | Catechesis
Who is Formation | Catechesis intended for?
It’s for you. Whether you’re a lifelong Christian or merely a curious seeker, this space is designed for you. It’s a place where we will foster discussion, ask questions, and explore the fullness of the Christian Tradition. It’s a place of learning… but not merely intellectual learning. We’re cultivating practices and nurturing a holistic approach to faith formation and deepening discipleship.
For those who are seeking, this is the space for you to ask your questions. When you ask good and challenging questions you give our church a gift in that you force those of us who believe to have to think more clearly. Please come. Please ask your questions.
Some of the learning modules are more focused on Christian basics, others are a bit more in-depth and challenging. In many cases, Catechesis | Formation will begin a conversation that will continue over coffee or lunch or in a Table Group. It is intended to be catalytic to the life of our church.
For those who have been Christians for many years… this space will give you new paradigms, stretch your understanding of the gospel, challenge you to take on new practices, and deepen your wonder at the beauty of Christ and His Kingdom. Yes, you NEED this. It isn’t merely elective / supplemental. In the ancient church, catechesis didn’t stop after baptism. It continued under the label of “mystagogy” – ongoing, life-long faith formation. More than ever, we need this in our era. We have underdeveloped and malformed faith… and it’s deeply inhibiting our Christian witness. We all need formation and catechesis.
You can think of what we’re doing in terms of being more deeply enculturated into Christ and His Kingdom. We’re aliens and sojourners in the world; our citizenship is in Heaven. And yet, we’re still foreigners to our own culture in many ways. But taking on culture isn’t an individual pursuit. Culture is communally held and expressed. Weekly Formation | Catechesis is the place where we’re articulating and deepening our understanding of the culture of the Kingdom of God.
Does Formation | Catechesis cost anything?
No, but you will need to buy materials for certain modules.
Do you need to attend the first “class” or all of the “classes” in a module in order to participate on a Sunday morning?
No. You can jump in any Sunday. Visitors are always welcome. We do, however, encourage people as much as possible to attend an entire module. The sense of continuity makes for great discussions!
How does Formation | Catechesis relate to baptism, confirmation, and leadership?
In order to be confirmed, a person must at a minimum go through our 6-week module “Christian Foundations” offered during Lent and by special arrangement. Confirmation will happen after Lent when the Bishop comes to visit!
In order to be baptized, baptismal candidates (or parents if their children/babies are going to be baptized) must also go through the 6-week module “Christian Foundations” offered during Lent or by special arrangement.
With regard to leadership… we expect that those who are leading others in any substantial way at Eucharist Church will be ongoing learners and regularly involved with Formation | Catechesis themselves. Our goal is to gather a group of leaders who will become catechists in training and assist with Formation | Catechesis.
Past Formation | Catechesis Modules:
This learning module is required for anyone considering confirmation or baptism (or parents of young children being baptized).