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Catechism and Evangelization

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Catechism and Evangelization. An examination into the issues and process of receiving converts into the Orthodox Church. What is Catechism?. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
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  • Catechism and EvangelizationAn examination into the issues and process of receiving converts into the Orthodox Church.

  • What is Catechism? O Lord our God, who dwells on high and regards the humble of heart, who has sent forth as the salvation of the race of men, Thine only-begotten Son and God our Lord Jesus Christ: look down upon Thy servants the catechumens, who have bowed their necks before Thee; make them worthy in due time of the laver of regeneration, the remission of sins, and the robe of incorruption. Unite them to Thy Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, and number them with Thy chosen flock.From Litany of Catechumens

  • True Catechism isBeing joined to the fullness of the ChurchTransmits and receives the Truth of the FaithNot fleeing from but rather to TruthAccepts the Faith with humilityFull of joy, hope and love

  • False Catechism Woe to you, scribes, Pharisees and hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.Matthew 23:15

  • Beware of:The issue peopleThe culture seekersThe wanderersThe apatheticThe fly-bysThe forevers

  • Some Statistics

    demographics

    Year# of ParishesAverage Parish SizeFinancially Supporting membershipTotal MembershipDemographicsCalendarLanguageClergyEpsicopacyOCA's Geographical CenterAttitude Towards "American Orthodoxy"

    The OCA: 1970452 Parishes, mostly Slavic background with large number of Romanian parishes90 (aprx)36000400002nd & 3rd generations90% "Old"90% SlavonicMostly Slavic, few converts4 Bishops American Born, Primate not fluent in EnglishHarrisburg, PAPositive Spirit

    The OCA: 2005680 Parishes, of many backgrounds including and "American" (ie convert) backgrounds75 (aprx)25,00045000 (minister to 125,000 in North America)4th and 5th generationMajority "new" with 1 diocese and handful "old"80% All English, 2% a mixture of English and Slavic or other languageConverts make up 1/3 of the clergy4 Bishops born outside of North America, 7 active bishops are convertsSt. Louis, MOSeeking to impliment goals and principles of a unified Church

  • Some More Statistics172 clergy were received through baptism/chrismation11 clergy received through vesting10 clergy received through confessionOver 1/3 of present seminarians are converts

    clergyreceived

    31

    21

    16

    16

    21

    32

    28

    29

    18

    21

    Received Clergy

    Year

    3 of Clergy Received

    Convert Clergy Received

    Sheet1

    1995199619971998199920002001200220032004

    31211616213228291821

    Sheet2

    Sheet3

  • How We are Receiving People

  • Before We Get StartedPrayerModest and lowly spiritDo not presume or expect extraordinary successBe calm and in full controlDo not begin without previous thought

    Love alone createsUse the same place for instructionBe of comfortVary instruction according to state of mind/age/facultyStart from the beginning/Salvation From St. Innocents Instructions to Missionaries

  • Steps in CatechismGuestInquirerCatechumenReceptionIntegration

  • Methods of OutreachBe a part of the communityMake sure people can find youUse communication tools (web/yellow pages/etc.)Families bring in familiesPeople come from the strangest placesBe open when they comePrograms vs. LoveGatekeepers

  • Some Useful Tools for GuestsVisitor CardsDo not single out peopleHave material for people to take homeNo hard sellGreetersCoffee HourUse what is available

  • InquirersSimple IntroductionSpend time to learn about themStay away from issuesAnswer questionsGet them involvedHave them come to the services/eventsHave them start to readStart a process of prayer/fasting/almsgivingMailing list

  • Recommended ReadingsWare: The Orthodox ChurchSchmemann: For the Life of the WorldHopko: Rainbow SeriesCarlton Series: The Faith (catechism), The Truth (Roman Catholicism), The Way (Protestantism)Topical series from Conciliar PressStay away from controversial books

  • CatechumensOfficially receive them with the prayers of the ChurchTake your timeMust come to servicesIntegrate into the communityGroups work betterBe flexible with times and discussions

  • Essentials of CatechismJesus ChristThe TrinityThe ChurchTraditionLiturgySacramentsNeed to learn: Nicene Creed, Trisagion Prayers, Pre-Communion Prayers

  • Other Essentials of CatechismDo not judge othersDo not judge other faiths but compareSimple explanationsDont rushBe positiveDont talk about politics, especially Church politicsAllow plenty of time for questionsALL questions are open for discussionDo not beat them upDo not overburden themBe careful on how you bring them in

  • Catechism Model #1What is the ChurchThe Church is One, Holy, and ApostolicThe Nicene CreedJesus ChristTour the ChurchPrayer/Fasting/Almsgiving

  • Catechism Model #21.Orthodox Doctrine1.1Dogma: The sources of Orthodox Teaching1.1.1Holy Scriptures1.1.2Holy Tradition1.2Creation1.3God1.3.1Father1.3.2Son1.3.3Holy Spirit1.4Salvation1.5The Church1.5.1Sacraments1.5.2Hierarchy2.Orthodox Worship and Piety2.1The Cycles of Orthodox Life2.1.1Great Lent2.1.2Holy Week2.2Church Architecture and Symbolism2.3The Services of the Orthodox Church2.3.1Divine Liturgy2.3.2Vespers2.3.3Matins/Other2.4The Twelve Great Feasts2.5Prayer2.6Saints2.7Icons

    3.History3.1Early Church3.2Era of the Ecumenical Councils3.3The Great Schism3.4Expansion to the North and East3.5North America3.5.1Alaska3.5.2Immigrants3.6World Orthodoxy Today

  • Catechism Model #3What is the Orthodox Church?The Symbol of FaithFoundations of the Orthodox FaithThe Holy TrinityCreationFall of MankindThe Promised MessiahThe IncarnationMans Yes to GodThe Teachings of ChristLove Stronger than DeathBirth and Mission of the ChurchThe Structure of the ChurchHoly BaptismSeal of the Gift of the Holy SpiritThe Mystical SupperThe Church at PrayerThe Mystery of LoveMonasticismThe Lords ReturnLiving an Orthodox Life in a Secular World

  • Reception into The ChurchFollow the guidelines of the OCAUse the seasons and feasts of the ChurchNever dividealways uniteDo not rushAlways in connection with the Divine Liturgy

  • Preparing for ReceptionBaptism vs. ChrismationYou will know when they are readyDelay if you mustDont use own familyPicking a sponsorDont split familiesPreparing for ConfessionSet a date with plenty of noticeFastingNameIntegrateService to parish

  • Actual ReceptionAnnounce to the parishMake it specialRally the parishGift from the parishIcon of saintInvite familyAlways in conjunction with the Liturgy

  • Integration into the ParishGet them involvedAsk after themInvite them to joinKeep close tabs on them for one yearRein in/Rein outConfession once a month for a yearExtended families will join

  • Internal CatechismEthnic groupsOlder parishionersNon-practicing OrthodoxMarriage to OrthodoxReturning to The FaithYouth/College Students/Young AdultsThe ZealotsBottom Line: Know Your People

  • Ways to Reach ThemLanguage/cultureUse sermonsLiturgy/ServicesAdult classInvite to catechism classesVisit them/listen to them

    Make changes slowlyFollow your bishopSimplicityDont talk about regionsDont talk about previous priest/parishStay away from issues

  • ConclusionGoal is to build up the Body of ChristNot a numbers gameQualityThe end of their searchPeacefulnessKnowledge will come in timeJOY

  • Questions

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