christian education

2016 - 2017 Session


Identity theft is on the rise.  Thieves steal identities for a variety of reasons and by a variety of means.  These crimes cost people time, money, the loss of their homes or their jobs - and they certainly create a great deal of emotional distress.  This type of identity theft is awful.  And yet, there is a more sinister type of identity theft perpetrated by a thief called Satan.

Most of us know we have to be vigilant in protecting ourselves against human identity thieves.  People sometimes inadvertently give away their identity by such things as providing information to the wrong people, not changing passwords, or going to unsafe websites.

The more sinister from of identity theft comes from not really understanding - or forgetting - who we are, where we come from, and where we are going as children of God.  We may inadvertently give away our Christian identity by not recognizing or questioning erroneous beliefs, being lax in our worship, or failing to learn and share our Anglo-Catholic identity.  The consequence of this type of identity theft is far more dangerous than any financial loss we can suffer.  The consequence is separation from God.

The Risk Free Offer

Lifelock offers us a risk free way to protect our identity.  They will monitor a person's information and help restore their identity if it's stolen.  Those are good things.  Better, though, is the risk free offer made by Jesus who asks only that we follow Him - and He'll be our "Eternal Lifelock."  To enroll in Christ's Lifelock program, we need to be very well grounded in our faith and history as Christians.  And that's where this year's Christian Education year comes in.  The theme is our Anglo-Catholic identity - what it is, why it's important, and how to safeguard it.  We'll explore how to live as intentional Christians, being in the world but not of it.

Identity theft is, indeed, on the rise.  Those who provide Lifelock services will suggest that if you value your security and peace of mind you owe it to yourself to use their tools to remain safe.  When our Vision Team asked the parish to rank our Core Values, our Anglo-Catholic identity was overwhelmingly identified as #1 in importance.  If you value our Anglo-Catholic identity, don't you owe it to yourself to use the tools available to you by participating in Christian Education classes?

The Sunday Church School

9:10 am – 10:10 am

An attended nursery is provided for children up to age 4

Our Sunday Church School begins promptly at 9:10 a.m. in the adult classrooms of Duncan Hall (a.k.a. The Educational Center), where youth and adults gather for prayer and announcements. And then to classes. 

Church School for Children

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." - Proverbs 22:6

God charged us with the responsibility of not only evangelizing to those who do not know Him, but also to, as a community, bring up our children in His word and light. Indeed, the mission of the Church School is to develop young people into well-formed Christians who are able to articulate their faith, live it out in their own lives, and take it to the rest of the world. Our classes are highly interactive and engaging, while remaining solidly based in the teachings of the Bible and the Church's Sacred Tradition.

All our courses are built on a four-step process which enables learning. This process provides for:

1. Studying God's Word: Students discover what God's Word has to say about the particular area focused upon.

2. Connecting with God's Word: Students reflect on their own life experience in some particular area, preparing them to hear and investigate God's Word.

3. Interacting with God's Word: Students consider how they might put into practice what God has revealed to us.

4. Applying God's Word: Students decide ways in which they will take into their daily lives what they have learned.

Each of us can support the youth Christian Education efforts. In addition to ensuring that their children faithfully attend Sunday classes, parents should take an active interest in what their young ones are learning. And all adult members of this Parish can support this important program by getting involved as a teacher or assistant.

Church School For Adults and Older Youth



September 18 - October 30, 2016

Anglican 101

Instructor: Father Christopher Cantrell, Rector

It is always helpful to know who you are and where you come from.  This class will introduce you to our heritage and identity as "Anglican" Christians.  What in the world does that mean?  Well, English, of course.  But that leaves all sorts of questions open.  Primarily, we will be looking at some history, beginning with the Church in England, through the English Reformation, on to the development of what has become the Anglican Communion, and now, some might say, beyond!


November 6 - December 11, 2016

The Rise of the Anglo-Catholic Style:

A Brief History of the 19th Century

Instructor: Father Thomas Hightower, Assisting Priest

This will be a romp through the 1800's, when the church remembered its Catholic roots and recaptured the sense of holiness of worship.  A brief description of the state of the Church of England at the beginning of the century will be followed by a glimpse of some of the leaders of the Oxford movement.  Then the second generation applied the theories to the parish and converted the worship of the Church.  We will also look at the opposition to the movement.  At the end, we will have a better sense of our history as Anglo-Catholics.


January 8 - February 19, 2016

Getting God Right to Get Right With God

Instructor:  Donna Wheeler, Parish Catechist

Our culture increasingly embraces the idea that we can define God anyway we want.  Generally speaking that means making God over to be a hybrid of "myself" and "Santa Claus" - a God who is expected to give much and ask nothing in return.  Add to this a rising tide of atheism and anti-christian sentiment and it becomes clear that we have to be on our guard against spiritual Identity Theft.  To help us better protect ourselves, this course will examine who God is -- and what that means for us in our relationship with Him.  We'll explore ways to be more intentional in living according to our identity as sons and daughters of God. Getting God right and getting right with God is essential to protecting ourselves -- and to sharing our faith with others.


February 26 - April 2, 2017

The Seven Sacraments

Instructors:  Father Christopher Cantrell, Rector and

                      Father Tom Hightower, Assisting Priest

From the moment we enter this world to the moment we depart it, we are enveloped in the sacramental embrace of the Church.  In this class we will learn more about the ways in which the sacraments convey God's grace to us at key points all along our pilgrimage through this life and the ways in which various sacramentals and devotions renew and strengthen our faith in God and His grace.


April 23 - May 14, 2016

The Four Notes of the Church

Instructor: Father Christopher Cantrell, Rector

Not only is it of great importance to be sure of your personal identity, it is also vitally important to have a clear understanding of the identity of the Church.  In this class we will look at that which assures the true identity of the Church.  Those aspects are generally called the four "Notes", (or "Marks") of the Church - One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.

But the learning doesn't stop at Sundays for adults. A variety of exciting courses are on the slate for Tuesday evenings. Read on!



7:00 - 8:30 p.m.                                                                                                                            September 20, 2016 - May 16, 2017                                                                                                                                                        

Meeting weekly, with holiday breaks; nursery provided. Courses that will be offered throughout the year: the Rector’s Course on Basic Christianity and the Parish Catechist’s course on The Old Testament.


Basic Christianity

Instructor: Father Christopher Cantrell, Rector

This course is based on the series of classes developed by Fr. Homer F. Rogers during a ministry of over 35 years, first at St Barnabas’, Denton, and then at St Francis’, Dallas. Fr. Richard A. Cantrell, SSC, (my father) has condensed the original course, and, of course, I have put in a bit as well. Despite all of that, after some changes and additions, these outlines are still to a great extent those of Father Rogers.

Why would you want to come? This course of instruction in basic Christianity is intended for those adults who are preparing for baptism and/or confirmation, for those who wish to refresh or deepen their own understanding of the basics of Christian faith and practice, and for those who are curious about Christianity. That should cover just about all of us, and hopefully some folks we know and love. Can you think of someone you could bring?


The Old Testament

Instructor: Donna Wheeler, Parish Catechist  

The Old Testament is chock full of good stuff. Want adventure stories? They’re here. How about tales of love, hate, lust, revenge, heroic deeds, miraculous acts, God smiting His people when they act up? Here. What about angels, demons, witches, prophets, kings, priests? Check. Maybe you want to know about ordinary people being formed by their creator? You betcha the Old Testament has that! And there’s much more to be found in the pages of sacred Scripture.

This course, running for the entire weekday teaching year, is just what you need for a working knowledge of Scripture. We will go into a good deal of depth on each book, allowing time for discussion, contemplation, questions, and fellowship.

In previous teaching years we covered Genesis through 2 Samuel.  Don't be put off by that. It will be easy to jump into the narrative and fit right in. And, yes, it will be fun!

The course is appropriate for those who have had little Bible study and for those who have been studying Scripture for many years.


Cafe Theology

Facilitator: Robyn Priest

This year will will have an opportunity to read and devour Cafe Theology by Michael Lloyd.  In it, Michael invites us to grab a cappuccino and travel with him on a mind-stretching journey from Creation to New Creation, offering a rich and human view of life and Life-Giver.  This is a unique journey because Michael has an inimitable gift for mixing insightful theology with unflinching honesty and a fantastic sense of humor.  This book is ideal for those wishing to explore theology more deeply.  Michael's wit and anecdotes from everyday life make this book both accessible and challenging.  If theology doesn't stretch our minds, it probably won't stretch our lives, and I believe this book will offer us the opportunity to do both.

St Matthias' Anglican Church

3460 Forest Lane

Dallas, TX 75234

(214) 358-2585