This Sunday, our preschoolers and kindergarteners will start a new program in Children’s Church called Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. All Saints members Laura Warmke and Catherine Calleson are just completing a year of training in order to begin teaching this class. Here are some reflections from Laura about what the experience has been like for her.
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, All Saints’s new curriculum for 3-5 year old children, starts on Sunday. As Catherine and I get the seemingly numerous pieces ready and count the days, I’ve thought about our catechist training.
Former All Saints member and trained catechist Nancy Robinson told me (and all the other potential catechists at All Saints) that this training was really more of a growing experience for the catechist than it was about learning techniques or lesson plans. She was right. It feels selfish to admit it, but this training has been just as much, if not more, about my personal growth as a follower of Christ than about learning any curriculum. I have learned to rest in the arms of the Good Shepherd in a new way. I have rejoiced at God’s plan to make all creation right. I have cried while pondering anew the parable of the pearl of great price and God’s great love for His people.
I love Catechesis because it focuses on God’s goodness and His redemptive work in creation. I think of Paul admonishing us to think on “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable” (Philippians 4:8). Catechesis does this though its lessons on the Bible’s importance and the life and teachings of Jesus.
I can hear some of you saying, “But that is not acknowledging the sin in the world. Clearly this place is messed up.” Sure: yes, yes, the world is horribly marred. But as Christians, we should never, ever lose sight of the fact that at the heart of the world is God and good. God will make this world right again and good will triumph.
As I grow older, this gets harder to remember, and I find my time in the atrium (i.e. classroom in Catechesis language) a welcome rejuvenation. I am more able to face the darkness of the world when I have been reminded again that the Good Shepherd calls His sheep by name and that through my Baptism, I have received the light of Christ in me. I’m better equipped to face the busy-ness of life and, yes, the stress of being a librarian (not always a stress-free job, I promise you!) when I have been in the peaceful, respectful atmosphere of the atrium.
As we begin our atrium, I hope that this peaceful, respectful atmosphere and the lessons in Catechesis touch our children as they have touched me. I truly believe that spreading the good news of Jesus and teaching peace and respect for one another is helping to bring the kingdom of God on earth. As Christians, this is kind of our goal, isn’t it?