Catechism: noun \'ka-tə-,ki-zəm\: a collection of questions and answers that are used to teach people about the Christian religion. (from the Greek ketechein, meaning "to teach orally or to instruct by word of mouth.")
Many catechisms exist. Most Christian denominations have developed one at some time in their history, with some of the most famous being Martin Luther's Small Catechism of 1529, the Heidelberg Catechism of 1563, the Anglican Communion's own Westminster Shorter and Larger Catechisms of 1648, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Yet the practice of catechesis has largely fallen by the wayside in modern American Christianity. American churches tend to focus their attention on personal devotion and evangelistic or charitable outreach, which has come at the expense of instruction in basic Christian doctrine.
In an effort to redress this glaring oversight, Timothy Keller and Sam Shammas recently compiled the New City Catechism, a modern adaptation of the historic Reformation catechisms that reintroduces the classical doctrines of the Christian faith to the modern believer in a systematic, comprehensive, and accessible manner.
Throughout the calendar year, our parish will work through the 52 questions and answers of the New City Catechism together. While the N.C.C. will hardly be our sole focus, it will be a consistent focus, addressed weekly through the CtK weblog as well as each week in the "Word from the Pastor" in our service leaflet. There will also be one Education and Formation class devoted to instruction in the catechism as well as one weekly adult Bible study. Finally, we will utilize portions of the N.C.C. to prepare for significant steps of faith, including baptism, first communion, and reception into membership in our parish; and we will make materials available for all ages, adults and children.
We invite you to join us in this year-long endeavor to deepen our understanding of the faith we confess and the Lord we serve!