From Affirmation to Transformation: Our Journey

By Terry Martinez, JBL Board Member “Our faith is formed by the practices that shape it.” Our Pastor, the Rev. Dr. Christopher Q. James, was searching for ways to help a congregation recover its baptismal identity – never fully formed due to the diminishment of sacramental practice in the larger Presbyterian/Reform tradition. “I was committed to planning and leading worship … Read More

A Seminarian Reflects on the Catechumenate

By Pam Gompf I have been doing some thinking about my seminary education.  I have enjoyed my classwork and the insights I’ve gained from fellow students and professors.  I hope that my life experience of raising three children and working as a youth minister over a decade will come through in preaching and teaching.  I know the Spirit has been … Read More

Bigger always Better?: The Small Church and the Catechumenate

By Larry Ehrens, JBL Board Member and Vice President After facilitating the Catechumenate in a Cathedral parish and several good sized suburban congregations, I was unsure how to go about this same ministry in a smaller setting. My question was: Is the Catechumenate scalable to smaller churches? Our new church plant has a Sunday attendance between 50 and 60 persons. … Read More

Freed from self-righteousness

By Bryon Hansen, Pastor at Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church, Seattle, WA Phinney Ridge Lutheran uses a horse trough for baptisms.  It’s a temporary arrangement.  One day we will have a permanent font suitable for full immersion.  In the meantime, we pull a horse trough from the attic and place it in the assembly to be used at all baptismal festivals. … Read More

Reimagining the Catechumenate

By Charles Mantey, JBL:NAAC Board Member Even after working with the catechumenate for over twelve years in two congregations, I keep learning new things. What is supposed to be a process attuned to spiritual formation can easily become a program which ignores the needs and desires of the individuals we are serving. Fortunately, the Spirit keeps inviting us into new … Read More

Thankful for the Catechumenate

By Eddie Francis Fremont United Methodist Church in Portland, Oregon began their catechumenate, Sacramental Living, a year ago. Eddie Francis was one of the first catechumens and was deeply impacted by the process. As a child, Eddie resented having to go to church since the message didn’t resonate with him. As an adult, however, he started attending a UMC church … Read More

Catechumenate Training Changes Lives & Congregations: Stories from the Trenches

By Martha Maier, JBL:NAAC Board Member From Skeptic to Believer Pastor Linda Quanstrom was a skeptic about the catechumenate. But encouraged by her District Superintendent, who had recently joined her church, she rounded up a team to attend the catechumenate training held in Seattle, WA last fall. After the training she wasn’t sure the process would work in her modestly-sized … Read More

The Catechumenate Leads to Personal & Church Growth

By Barbara Anderson, member, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Seattle, WA “The Spiritual Pilgrimage [St. Luke’s catechumenal process] was the catalyst that truly began my life in community with St. Luke’s and a major stop along my journey to baptismal living. I struggle with the winter and early spring time, the dark and cold makes it difficult to want to … Read More

Diving Deep into Signs and Symbols

By Bryon Hansen, Pastor of Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church in Seattle, WA During Lent those in the catechumenal process enter into an intensive time of baptismal preparation. As guest blogger Bryon Hansen suggests, it’s a fitting time to reflect on the role of our faith symbols and signs. For more on PRLC’s catechumenate click here. “Walking wet” is a phrase I’ve … Read More

What can I do for the people in the catechumenate?

By Michael Marchal, JBL:NAAC Board Member You together are the body of Christ, but each of you is a different part… 1 Cor. 12:27 Being a “lone ranger” telling the world about Jesus is not the picture that emerges from the New Testament of what it meant to be and to live as a Christian. The Christian world in Jerusalem … Read More