October 22, 2013
Getting Ready for the Catechumenate
At Christ the King Church, we are learning more and more about growing as a congregation rooted in our common baptismal life, and how this life invites us to welcome others into life in the triune God. We have committed to the pattern of the ancient catechumenate – a process that welcomes anyone to baptism, baptismal living, and renewal in life in Christ.
Denise Engle, writer, retired public school administrator, and former gifted and talented magnet school coordinator, English teacher, and software implementation project manager, will serve as the Director of the Catechumenate leading us as we learn together how the ancient process of welcome and equipping works. Denise has served at Christ the King Church in the following areas: Community of Hope graduate (first class of lay chaplains), Sunday school superintendent and teacher, worship server, Child in Our Hands grant writer and conference coordinator, adult education class facilitator for the Monastery of the Heart, and 2013 Catechumenate Institute coordinator. She has been a member of Christ the King Church since 1994, and her husband Brian Engle since 2003.
The process of the catechumenate includes four periods: a time of inquiry, a period of exploration, a time of intense preparation for baptism or affirmation of baptism, and a time to consider baptismal living. These four periods of the catechumenate spread out over many weeks. At Christ the King Church, in the coming year, we will offer a catechumenate beginning on the festival of the Baptism of Our Lord (January 12, 2014) and concluding on the Day of Pentecost (June 8, 2014). At weekly gatherings, anyone – those who wish to inquire about or prepare for baptism, along with anyone already baptized who wants to engage in a journey to deepen faith in God, and especially in our congregation – will move through these four periods in conversation, reflection, and prayer. The participants form small groups once the initial period has concluded, and stay in their groups throughout the process.
In order to get ready for the 2014 Catechumenate, we wish to get some practice this fall, and get a preview of what these weekly gatherings will look and feel like. The source of our prayer and conversation in the catechumenate is the calendar of bible readings we proclaim each week in worship. Each week, through directed engagement of the assigned scripture readings, each meeting has an encounter with the word of God, in the company of the group, bringing our own life stories into relationship with God’s story. These gatherings are less bible study, and more bible prayer.
We welcome all to gather in small groups that meet weekly and learn a process to engage scripture, called by its Latin name – lectio divino. This traditional Benedictine practice of “divine reading” considers the scripture text in four steps: read, meditate, pray, and contemplate. We will practice this discipline in small groups over five weeks, each session facilitated by a lay leader, helping each other discover the potential of the catechumenal process.
The small groups will meet beginning October 19 for five weeks. Anyone may chose to participate in a group each week at the following times:
Saturdays 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. (October 19, 26, November 2, 9, and 16)— Bill Pelham and Denise Engle
Sundays 9:45 – 10:45 a.m. (October 20, 27, November 3, 10 and 17)—Lucky Sahualla and Beverly Davis
Tuesdays 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. (October 22, 29, November 5, 12, and 19)—Naomi Nelson and Linda Schoene
Thursdays 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. (October 24, 31, November 7, 14, and 21)—Julie Morin and Tim Lenz
It may be that once these groups form, the groups may decide to continue meeting beyond November 21 and into Advent. But for now, we are only asking people to commit to this five week period as we get ready for the catechumenate to unfold at Christ the King in 2014.
In order to make appropriate plans, please sign up to participate by emailing our catechumenate director, Denise Engle at email@example.com or sign up on the registration forms in the narthex during October. If you have any questions about the catechumenate or about this series of small group lectio divino sessions, please also contact Denise.
Be on the watch for more information about the catechumenate at Christ the King Church. Pray for those who will participate as we get ready this fall. Consider your own spiritual journey of discipleship and discern how God might be calling you to enter more deeply into baptismal living in the community of the church.