HOW HAS CATECHESIS INFORMED THE FORMATION OF A PERSON YOU KNOW?
BY NANCY ROBINSON
On Thursday afternoons, two catechists and two groups of children gather at Church of the Holy Trinity’s Parish Center in Chapel Hill for a weekly time of corporate worship, prayer, and listening to the Lord. One such week, I was working with a group of 6-12 year olds. The mom of one of the children contacted me to find out if she could bring two additional neighborhood children, Evelyn and Owen, that afternoon. Although drop-ins are unusual, the Holy Spirit nudged the other catechist and me to welcome them. Once the children arrived, I learned that their mother had been taken to the hospital with severe abdominal pain in the middle of the night. We did not know what was wrong. Her children arrived looking pale, shut down, and a bit tentative. As children sometimes do when they are in a new environment, they tried to go unnoticed.
We opened our time together at our little prayer table with prayers of intercession and, with Evelyn’s permission, prayers for their family. That day, I was giving a presentation on the History of the Kingdom of God. Together the children and I spread out a long fabric timeline on the floor. On it we placed a symbol for Creation, when God created the earth; a symbol for Redemption, when Jesus was born, died, and rose again; and a symbol for Parousia, when God will be all in all. Then we went back and placed tablets with Scripture that corresponded to each of these moments. Together we read aloud the Scripture about Parousia when God will wipe away every tear, there will be no more sickness, and no more dying. Evelyn gasped and her face lit up in an unmistakable way. This child had received the gospel and hope in a profound way. The child before me was transformed.
When it came time for the children to work on something of their choice, Evelyn boldly asked me to wait to roll up the timeline. She insisted upon copying each symbol and each Scripture. I was struck how this young child, who earlier wanted to cause no trouble, now boldly took a risk and asked me to leave the timeline out until she was finished with her contemplative work. Her strong hunger for the good news was satisfied that afternoon. What a blessing it was to witness her hope and joy!
The Diocese of Christ our Hope’s mission is to plant, equip, and multiply disciple-making Anglican churches, and to support and serve their people and leaders in Christian life and mission.