Join us each Sunday at 9:00am (quality coffee; light breakfast at 8:45am) for both adult and children’s Formation | Catechesis.
Weekly space (workshops, discussion, teaching) for exploration, Christian formation, and discipleship for adults… (more information)
Weekly space for children’s Christian formation… (more information)
What is Catechesis? What is a Catechumenate?
Perhaps the simplest explanation for a Catechumenate is to think of it as a Christian cultural immersion process—a training track for people learning to be disciples of Jesus.
Catechumenate is a Greek word derived from the words for “echo” and “down.” It’s the idea of something traveling down through time. What is traveling down through time? The Christian Faith.
The concept of the Catechumenate is a very old one, going back nearly 2,000 years. The original Catechumenate was built with the assumption that all Christians must be formed—we must be enculturated into the Body of Christ. This means that we must receive the Christian Faith from those who went before us and be transformed via some kind of intentional process.
The catechumenate is a life-training, Christian identity-formation community. It exists to enculturate us into Christ’s Kingdom. It is not a separate program in the life of the church. It IS the whole life of the church with its rhythms, gatherings, teaching, relationships, practices, and experiences – all of this brought to life through intentionality, accountability, additional support/structure, and celebration.
At one level it’s important to recognize that everything we do at Eucharist Church is focused toward forming disciples who live all of life in reference to Christ. However, there is also a sense in which we want people to have the opportunity to participate in the life of the church within an intentional and formal process of spiritual formation alongside others who desire the same. Our vision of the catechumenate takes all of this into account.
The big picture can be summarized visually in the following diagram.
At the center of the Core Elements you will find the beating heart of the catechumenate, which is Holy Communion / collective worship. This is both the end toward which we strive and our greatest means of sustenance toward that end. Our conviction is that Worship/Communion, when combined with the other three aspects of the Core Elements work together to shape us into people who live all of life in reference to Christ.
WORSHIP SERVICE – The anchor of our entire community life is collective worship. We become a church in and through worship and Holy Communion. Nothing is more important than the worship service; but a Sunday worship service by itself is not enough to form deeply rooted Christians. The worship service is most impacting / culture-shaping when it does the following:
- Liturgically carries us into a vision of the Kingdom (four movements of liturgy, climaxing in Holy Communion)
- Reinforces the transcendent dimension of life (breaking the “immanent frame”)
- Emotionally connects us horizontally and vertically (creating a shared affective experience across the community as well as a sense that my heart is personally connected to God); Inspiration, hope, lamentation, anticipation, joy, belonging
FORMATION | CATECHESIS – This space for teaching, discussion, experiences, and group processing plays a catalytic role in shaping the content and direction of the spiritual formation agenda of our church. When we talk about catechesis we’re mostly focused on weekly catechesis (Sundays at 9am) but we also include special seminars, classes and retreats in this as well. We will offer both adult and children’s programs. We believe that adults and children need to be formed into Christ.
TABLE GROUP – This is the basic setting of belonging. It is a highly relational setting in which people practice Christian love and feel a sense of delight in being together. It’s the place where Christians can offer Christian hospitality to those seeking. The basic format will always be some variation of: meal, sharing/discussion, Evening Prayer.
PERSONAL | FAMILY PRAYER AND WORSHIP – Perhaps the most basic building block of Christian formation as far as Eucharist Church is concerned is daily prayer and worship, ideally engaged three times daily (morning, midday, evening/compline). The lectionary that is read as part of this practice keeps people steadily reading through the Bible in a life immersed in the Word of God. The goal is to get every person who considers Eucharist Church their home church living according to an adapted Rule of Life that provides helpful structure to the rhythms of family and personal life, hopefully leading to a deep kind of freedom and fullness in Christ: the good life!
These are the four “core elements” of Eucharist Church. To be involved in them is to participate in the life of the Catechumenate (even if unknowingly so). Though much good can emerge from a happenstance participation in the life of the church, we believe that the fruitfulness of the Catechumenate can be greatly amplified through a more intentional participation.