St. Theophan, the recluse, once said, "of all works, the education of children is the most holy." As such, those of us who have been given the opportunity to participate in such holy work should endeavor to understand the holy teachings of our Orthodox Christian Faith, not only in theory but in practice! The purpose of Orthodox Religious Education (catechesis) is to help build up the Church, the Body of Christ, by nurturing every Christian in the life of personal communion with the Holy Trinity-THEOSIS. Through this life-long diakonia (ministry), each and every Orthodox Christian is encouraged to bear joyful witness to God's loving and redeeming work in the world. Religious education encompasses every aspect of Orthodox Christian life. From the home to the parish, from youth work to every aspect of adult church community activity, the "holy work" of religious education under-girds the continuing spiritual development of Orthodox Christians of every age. Consequently, nothing is more crucial today than learning to express our love and faith for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His Holy Church with dignity and spiritual maturity. A "holy work" is characterized by:
- Loving and, above all
- Living our Orthodox Christian Faith!
St. Andrew's adult catechism class is designed to meet the needs of those outside the Church who are interested in embracing Orthodoxy as well as the needs of those Orthodox Christians who desire to learn more about their faith and to strengthen their commitment to God.
Various topics are included-from Church history, through Sacred Services, Iconography, Saints, etc. Emphasis is placed on Orthodoxy as a "way of life" and the unique spiritual wealth of the Orthodox.
All are invited to participate in these discussions and to take a few more steps for the sake of spiritual growth. This class is led by Presbytera Elaine.
Adult Bible Catechism
The scriptures constitute a coherent whole. They are at once divinely inspired and humanly expressed. They bear authoritative witness to God's revelation of Himself in creation, in the Incarnation of the Word, and in the whole history of salvation, and as such express the Word of God in human language. We know, receive, and interpret scripture through the Church and in the in the Church. Our approach to the Bible is one of Obedience. (Statement made at the 1976 Moscow Conference)
The Adult Bible Catechism has the purpose of bringing the Orthodox Christian faithful together for divine inspiration through the Word of God, the Holy Bible. The decisive criterion of our understanding of what Scripture means is 'the mind of the Church.'
A personal approach in reading the Bible does not mean that we are simply detached and objective observers, absorbing information, taking historical documents, although certainly it can be approached on that level. It is, much more fundamentally, a sacred book, addressed to believers, to be read with faith and love. We shall not profit fully from reading the Gospels unless we are in love with Christ. 'Heart speaks to heart:' I enter into the living truth of Scripture only when my heart responds with love to the heart of God.
The faithful who participate in this Orthodox Bible Catechism gathering 'acknowledge that the Holy Scripture must be accepted and interpreted in accordance with the belief which has been handed down by the Holy Fathers, and which the Holy Orthodox Church, our Mother, had always held and still does hold.'
This class is led by Father George.