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Thoughts on Christian Education:
"Martin Luther on Education Reformation", click here >>
Hope recognizes that God has first given parents the responsibility and privilege of teaching their children the Christian faith. Sunday School is one of the ways we come alongside parents to support them in growing life-long disciples in Christ's church. We use a Christ centered Sunday School curriculum, Cross Explorations from Concordia Publishing, for three year olds through 7th grade. The Bible lesson typically corresponds with one of the Scripture readings for each Sunday's worship service. At 9:15 AM, children are being greeted by their teachers in their classrooms, and begin a time of prayer, Bible study, discussion, and age appropriate learning of Christian doctrine (catechesis), as well as younger children engaging in hands-on activities and games. After Sunday School classes end at 10:00 AM, children can play and have snacks during the fellowship time before the 10:30 AM Divine Service.
We currently have four classes, broken-up into the following age groups: Pre-K-2nd grade; 3rd-5th grade; 6th-8th grade; and 9th-12th grade. Each class is taught by a team of at least one male and one female teacher who either work together, or teach on alternating months, September through May. Sunday School teachers attend Pastor Meyer's Sunday morning Bible study during months off from teaching. Many make use of teaching helps found on our Resources page, and The Seeds of Faith Sunday School preparation podcast with Pastor Tom Baker -- an engaging and helpful resource for equipping parents to reinforce the Sunday School lessons at home, as well.
To learn more about Sunday School & Bible study classes for:
Our Lord Jesus told His disciples, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
Lutherans believe that the Bible teaches that a person is saved by God’s Grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ alone. The Bible tells us that such “faith comes by hearing” (Rom. 10:17). Jesus Himself commands Baptism and tells us that Baptism is water used together with the Word of God (Matt. 28:19-20). Because of this, we believe that Baptism is one of the miraculous Means of Grace (another is God’s Word as it is written or spoken), through which God creates and/or strengthens the gift of faith in a person’s heart (see Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21; Gal. 3:26-27; Rom. 6:1-4; Col. 2:11-12; 1 Cor. 12.13). Terms the Bible uses to talk about the beginning of faith include “conversion” and “regeneration.” Although we do not claim to understand fully how this happens, we believe that when an infant is baptized God creates faith in the heart of that infant. We believe this because the Bible says that infants can believe (Matt. 18:6) and that new birth (regeneration) happens in Baptism (John 3:5-7; Titus 3:5-6). The infant’s faith cannot yet, of course, be verbally expressed or articulated by the child, yet it is real and present all the same (see e.g., Acts 2:38-39; Luke 1:15; 2 Tim. 3:15). The faith of the infant, like the faith of adults, also needs to be fed and nurtured by God’s Word (Matt. 28:18-20), or it will die.
Lutherans do not believe that only those baptized as infants receive faith. Faith can also be created in a person's heart by the power of the Holy Spirit working through God's written or spoken Word. Baptism should then soon follow conversion (cf. Acts 8:37) for the purpose of confirming and strengthening faith in accordance with God's command and promise. Depending on the situation, therefore, Lutherans baptize people of all ages from infancy to adulthood. Learn More >>
Here are some great resources to help guide you in your daily Christian teaching and worship at home:
"Catechesis is one of those “churchy” kinds of words that we tend to stray away from to avoid unnecessary confusion, not only for new believers but also for longtime members who may have never heard nor understood what it means . . . yet . . . when we lose terms like catechesis, we run the risk of losing the essential core of the Church practice that the term defines. So what is catechesis anyway, and why is such a term worth explaining in a culture uninterested in tradition and traditional-sounding terms?
The Greek word katacheo, from which our term catechesis is derived, means “to sound again.” Thus, the educational process of catechesis is the sounding again of the historic truths of the Christian faith from one generation to the next.1 An elder generation presents the content of our common faith, and the younger generation echoes back what they have learned. Catechesis, then, in its simplest form is a sort of call and response of the truths of the Christian faith. Luther’s Small Catechism exemplifies this in its structure and form. Although there already were catechisms available prior to Luther’s work, his innovation in structuring the book in a question and answer format was new to the genre.
In the Preface of his Large Catechism, Luther states substantive reasons why the Christian faithful should continually use the catechism. Both the weighty reasons and the urgency remain today. Luther was concerned with the lack of teaching of the faith that he saw in the churches of his day. . . we face a similar crisis today. Churches are full of activity, but may often fail to ensure quality teaching, especially for the young. The Church continues to struggle against the prevailing winds of the culture that seek to instill in emerging generations what Christian Smith calls “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.”2 . . . While the culture pushes toward a conception of faith lacking in distinctions, faithful Lutheran pastors, DCEs, teachers, and, most importantly, parents seek with much prayer to impart the unique claims of the Christian faith into the hearts and minds of young people. As Paul teaches in Romans 6, while we are still dead in our sins and wholly incapable of reaching out to God, Christ reaches out to us, removes from us our sins, and restores us to life and a right relationship with the Father through the Holy Spirit.
Catechesis is an educational practice of the Church that provides a portion of the pushing back against the tide of our culture.Through the sounding again of the truths of Scripture, one generation bequeaths to the next the essential core of Christianity. The presentation of the essential core truths of the Christian faith has developed over time, but the foundational structures have been with us for many centuries. What we have in the Small Catechism includes what are known as the Six Chief Parts. They are the Ten Command- ments, the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, Holy Baptism, Confession, and finally Holy Communion. These, along with the Daily Prayers, Table of Duties, and Christian Questions with Their Answers, form the substance of Luther’s Small Catechism."
-- Teaching the Faith at Home: What Does This Mean? How Is This Done? by David Reuter, Concordia Publishing.
1 John Bombaro, “A Catechetical Imitation of Christ,” Modern Reformation (March– April 2009): 32.
2 Christian Smith, Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 118–71.