Toward More Effective Catechesis: Models of Discipleship at Galilee Episcopal Church
AuthorBuchanan, Andrew D.
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The demands of parish ministry on clergy often preclude considered and well-planned approaches to parish-wide catechesis. Additionally, a muddled understanding of confirmation (in our prayer book tradition, the ecumenical scene, and our national canons) leaves confirmation open for competing theologies. Laity and clergy often view confirmation as an opportunity for catechesis, but because the rite is derivative of baptism it cannot be that opportunity and should instead be a celebration of the lifelong formation that has already occurred, as well as a communal affirmation that the Holy Spirit will continue to bless and sustain the confirmands in their unfolding journey. This project details how Galilee Church in Virginia Beach has engaged in a comprehensive formation program for children, and how this program supersedes and replaces a traditional confirmation class. It further details the importance of attending to a variety of factors in order to create an environment for successful catechesis. Finally, it considers opportunities from with both the Prayer Book tradition and the historical Catechumenate for future development of adult formation in the parish setting.