Journey in Faith

Hollie and William Adamson

Journey in Faith is the name of the process used by St. Paul's for preparing adults for Baptism, Confirmation, or Re-Affirmation of Baptismal vows.

Journey in Faith or the catechumenal process is a time of formation and spiritual development in Christian understandings about God, human relationships and the Episcopal Church.

This process is lay-led and designed to enable participants to begin or renew their life in Christ. Each session lasts around two hours, and has two component parts:

A time of Bible reflection in a small group on the weekly Scriptures to help establish habits for the study of Scripture;

A presentation on some aspect of the Christian life, an opportunity to address questions of faith and to discover how the faith is expressed through the Episcopal Church.

The Stages of the Catechumenal Process

As a catechumenal process, Journey in Faith includes four stages:

The Inquiry Stage

This short stage actually begins as you begin to pray and discern your participation in Journey in Faith. There are two sessions in this stage. The purpose of these sessions is to provide you an overview of the process, expectations of participants, a shortened Biblical reflection time, a presentation of the liturgical rites and an opportunity to ask your questions.

At the conclusion of the second session you will be asked to decide if you are willing to commit to the process.

Preparatory Stage: Formation Into Christ

Through the Rite of Enrollment the participant makes a commitment to Journey in Faith, receives a sponsor from the community, God's blessing and the support of the community.

The participant and his or her sponsor meet weekly with other participants and sponsors. In this stage the participant explores in-depth the Christian life through Biblical reflection, faith-sharing, instruction and prayer. This stage encourages participants to form and live, through worship and community, a personal Christian style of life in order to become more deeply connected with God.

Preparation Stage: Commitment To Christ

Through a liturgical rite at the beginning of Lent, the participant acknowledges their commitment to Christ leading to Baptism, Confirmation or Re-Affirmation of Faith.

The catechetical portion of this stage is marked by a retreat. The Rector of St. Paul's joins and leads the participants in examining Baptism, Eucharist and the Holy Spirit, inclusive of addresses written by St. Cyril of Jerusalem (around 400 AD) to catechumens, along with other Christian authors through the centuries.

The Passion of Christ: Holy Week Stage

At the heart of the Christian faith is Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. The final events of Jesus' earthly life are celebrated in worship in Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, culminating in the Great Vigil of Easter.

All participants are expected to journey into and through the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, as observed through these liturgies.

For those who desire it, Holy Baptism is celebrated at the Great Vigil on Easter Eve.

Mystagogical Stage: Living as the Church

The stage in the Easter Season is marked by final preparations for Confirmation, Reception or Re-Affirmation. It continues to increase one's knowledge of life in the church - the Body of Christ. These will be celebrated by teh Bishop at the time of his annual visitation, usually in May.

However, in a sense this stage has no end. Our life in church begun in Baptism and then confirmed and re-affirmed throughout life is a never-ending process of growth and development.

The process of Journey in Faith provides a model of the process of continuing to live out the ministry of Christ in one's life - a never-ending process. By participating in Journey in Faith, our hope is the groundwork for this life-time faith development will be well founded for living out one's relationship with Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

 

Journey in Faith classes begin April 21, 2010.
Classes will begin at St. Paul's on Wednesday. April 21 be- ginning with Evening Prayer at 6:00 PM followed by instruction, bible study and prayer at 6:30. Classes will be offered each Wednesday evening until mid-June. They will serve as preparation for anyone wish- ing to be confirmed in the Episcopal Church, anyone wishing to be received (from the Roman Catholic Church) or any Episcopalian who would like to renew his or her Baptismal vows.
Confirmation, Reception and Renewal of Vows will take place at both the 8 AM and 10 AM services on June 20 when the Rt. Reverend Edward S. Little II, Bishop of Northern Indiana, makes his annual visitation to St. Paul's.
Anyone desiring to be part of this journey, please see Mother Susan or Mike Thompson.