Confirmation Learning Stations

One of the pitfalls that I often succumb to when planning a lesson is focusing on what I am going to do without regard for what the kids are going to do (other than soak up my pearls of wisdom, of course). In the end, I find that I am putting a lot of pressure on myself as the catechist to “perform.” If Christian Initiation IS an apprenticeship (and I believe it is) then we must consider what […]

A Lot Can Happen in 75 Minutes! (part 4)

One last thing to share about Monday evening’s class. I was sharing some ideas with the young people about how they can share their faith in practical ways. (I posted about this earlier). One of the suggestions I offered was to wear a sacramental such as a medal, a cross, a pin, or a scapular. As I was saying this, I glanced over at my aide, Ben, who is a high school sophomore. He started […]

2000 Years of Church History in 75 Minutes!

Last night, we introduced the 8th graders to the topic of Church history, by way of a Powerpoint presentation. All 5 classes came together once again and all 5 catechists divided up the presentation, each of us taking a time period and highlighting some of the major events that took place during that time. Throughout the presentation, the young people were filling in a worksheet with key names and dates. For me, the highlight of […]

It's On to Church History

It’s hard to believe that we are already moving on to the 3rd unit of our text book this year – Church history. The challenge, of course, is making history relevant for kids. I’ve always been a bit of a history buff (In college, I double-majored in theology and history!) and I feel that history provides us with many lessons for life. Perhaps the best image that I can think of for approaching the concept […]

An Evening of Getting to Know Jesus

Last night, we spent the evening getting to know Jesus better. Here are some highlights. First we had a fire drill..all went well. I began by playing our “song of the week” – Shania Twain’s “Wanna Get to Know You.” (see yesterday’s post for some of the lyrics) I talked about how 2 people in love want to get to know one another and explained that this is our theme for the evening: we want […]

Who Is This Man?

At this past week’s session, I focused on the question of “Who Is Jesus?” – a theme we will carry throughout the unit we are on. I played a recording of the song “Superstar” from the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar in which the very confused Judas asks the question: “Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, who are you what have you sacrificed? Jesus Christ, Superstar, do you think you’re what they say you are?” I talked about how […]

The Nearness of God

Overall, week 4 (last night’s session) went pretty well. It was one of those nights when I felt a bit scattered myself but I don’t think I got in the way too much! Here’s what we did: We briefly reviewed last week’s session and they recalled that the focus was on the Holy Spirit. We had a “breathing contest” – to see who could hold their breath the longest! I then told them about how […]

Jesus, God’s Greatest Gift

Week 2 went very nicely last evening. Here are some of the highlights: We met in church for an opening prayer service with the pastor. The kids were well-behaved and participated nicely. The pastor did a very nice job of encouraging the kids to put Jesus first in their lives. That took about a half-hour of the 75-minute class time. Two of the boys in my group asked if they could call me “Dr. Pepper” […]

Tonight’s Class: The Ten Commandments

For this evening’s class, I plan to focus on the Ten Commandments. One of the things that the Confirmation assessment revealed is that many of the young people in my group do not know the Commandments well at all. Here’s my plan: Two Sides to Every Coin – I’ll begin by flipping a coin several times, asking different young people to call out “heads” or “tails.” I’ll use this to illustrate that, just as every coin […]

Meditation on the Corporal Works of Mercy

I’m always suspicious of people who tell me that when they were in Vegas, they won X amount of money playing a certain game or machine. They never tell you how much they lost along the way! In the same way, I’m about to tell you about a moment I had last night at religious education that was like hitting the jackpot. I’ll follow that, however, with a little disclaimer that shows it wasn’t all […]

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