Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, Ages 4-12
Children gather in a room specially prepared for them, called an atrium, which contains simple yet beautiful materials that they use to draw near to God. In the early church, the atrium was the place where the catechumens were prepared. For the child, the atrium is a place of preparation for involvement in the larger worshipping community.
In an atrium the child can ponder a biblical passage or a prayer by taking the material for that text and working with it – placing wood figures of sheep in a sheepfold of the Good Shepherd or setting sculpted apostles around a Last Supper table. Older children who read often copy parables from the Bible, place in order the prayers from the Rite of Baptism, or label a long time line showing the history of the kingdom of God. With this in mind, the catechist embraces Maria Montessori’s vision for working with children.
The children are taught to remove their shoes at the door, for the atrium is a sacred place. In our shared space environment, the office is transfigured on Sundays. Additionally they are taught to lower their voices and speak more slowly. They also learn to walk slowly, never run, and always to respect the space where another child is working. They do not join that child to work unless invited.
There are never tests or quizzes. The catechist is not called a teacher. The Word is shared with the child for the child to receive and respond. Lessons are presented for the children to ponder in response to a catechist saying, “I wonder what Mary thought when…” for example.
Click Here to view the Catechesis brochure.
Link to National Association Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
Youth Sunday School, Ages 12-18
Young people in junior high and high school will meet for further study, discussion, and application of the readings from the service. They will focus on the meaning of the gospel today and in their lives. They will participate in readings and dramatic presentations from the Bible, and will explore the Book of Common Prayer. Young people are an important part of our church family. They will learn ways they can be active participants in worship, including reading, music, and acolyte service.
Each Sunday, following worship, and after a time for fellowship, adults gather to respond to the Gospel reading they have just heard. Walt Cabe, who leads the class, provides context for the reading and invites active discussion and contemporary application.
St. Alban’s evening Bible study group has met weekly on Wednesday evenings at 7:00. Our group chooses one book of the Bible at a time as a group, selecting whichever we feel called to study. We encourage members to share and discuss the readings as a group. We also consult study guides, interpretations, and commentaries to help enhance our comprehension and understanding of the Scripture. The group is open to everyone so bring a Bible and join us in our study. See the calendar for more information.
Thursday Afternoon Bible Study
St. Alban’s has a Bible study that meets on Thursday afternoon at members’ homes to read aloud and discuss the scriptures. Books of study are chosen as a group. We often have a priest present to provide theological insight. We share refreshments and prayers. All are welcome. See the calendar for more information.
Education for Ministry
EfM is a four-year ecumenical program designed to support lay ministers in the diverse contexts of contemporary life. Lay persons face the difficult and often subtle task of interpreting the richness of the Church’s faith in a complex and confusing world. They need a theological education which supports their faith and teaches them to express that faith in day-to-day events, through study, prayer and reflection. Several options for classes are offered at other churches in the diocese. New classes will be forming this fall.