christian education

2019 - 2020 Session

Adjusting our Focus

Our understanding of the universe is increasing by leaps and bounds. Government agencies and independent entrepreneurs are busy exploring what lies far beyond the earth. High tech equipment is focusing on areas of the galaxy we never knew were there. This focus on the world around us is providing a picture of the cosmos that is even more grand and magnificent than we may have imagined.

But let’s adjust our telescopes and focus on something nearby–and yet even more grand and magnificent than all the latest discoveries from space explorers. Let’s consider God’s plan for His people right here on earth. And where better to focus on that plan than in Christian Education?

This Christian Ed season will take us on journey through time and space, considering along the way God’s creation and the forming of His people in the Genesis stories, God’s call for repentance and promise for the future through His prophets, the Good News of Jesus and how it came together in the Gospels, lessons from devout dwellers in hot and sandy places (the Desert Fathers), and finally how to be the best Catholic Christians we can be by following the Precepts of the Church.

We are pleased to have Father Ivor Kraft teaching two of this season’s Sunday adult classes, as well as Bishop Fanuel Manganani kicking off our Christian Ed season with a talk on September 15th.

If you’re not in the habit of attending Christian Ed, now just might be the time to adjust your focus and see what amazing things you can learn. You may never get a chance to hop on a rocket to Mars, but you certainly can join us for a stellar adventure right here at St Matthias’ Christian Ed classes!

The Sunday Church School

9:10am – 10:10 am

An attended nursery is provided for children up to age 4.

Our Sunday Church School begins promptly at 9:10 am 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 Youth

“Catholic education is above all a question of communicating Christ, of helping to form Christ in the lives of others…” – Pope John Paul II

“If young people are educated properly, we have moral order; if not, vice and disorder prevail. Religion alone can initiate and achieve a true education.” – St John Bosco

God charged us with the responsibility of teaching the faith as it was handed down by the Apostles. At St Matthias’ our Sunday Church School team takes the education of our youth very seriously. At the same time, we provide a fun-filled environment for students. Our classes are highly interactive and engaging, while remaining solidly based in the teachings of the Bible and the Church’s Sacred Tradition. We strive to not only teach the fundamentals of the faith, but to help young people grow in their love of our Savior. Our goal is to prepare our youth to be shining lights in an increasingly challenging secular world.

We welcome young people from age 4 through 12 to our Sunday School classes. Our teenagers attend the adult classes.

Church School for Adults

COURSE 1       September 15 - October 27, 2019

Don’t Shoot Me -- I’m Only the Messenger!

Instructor: Donna Wheeler, Parish Catechist

The prophets of Israel were God’s messengers. Sometimes they delivered delightful and welcome news, like the promise of restoration after the Babylonian exile, and the promise of the coming of the Messiah. Often, though, they brought dire warnings of horrible things to come, of God smiting His people. It’s no wonder the prophets, by and large, were unpopular among the people of Israel and Judah. You might recall the words of Jesus in Lk 13:34: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you!”

In this course we’ll explore the role of the prophets, the messages they brought, and the consequences of not heeding God’s word. We’ll see that the words of the prophets are as relevant to us today as they were to ancient Israel. We’ll read the messages the prophets brought, so bring your Bibles.

COURSE 2        November 3 - December 15, 2019

Where was Eve When God Said Don’t?

Instructor: Father Ivor Kraft, Assisting Priest

The Book of Genesis is the seed from which the entire Biblical narrative grows and a careful reading of Genesis will deepen our faith and understanding of God’s saving work in Jesus Christ His Son and our Lord. Furthermore, the story of the creation and the fall helps us to better understand the confusion and disorder that presently engulfs us and our society. We will begin at the Beginning and end with the story of Joseph, which is about much more than his famous coat of many colors. To get the most out of the class, you’ll need your Bibles.

COURSE 3       January 5 - February 16, 2020

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John

         - Hold the Horses While I Get On

Instructor: Father Christopher T. Cantrell, Rector

That’s a little rhyme that my second grade teacher taught us kids so that we would remember the names of the four Gospels. It worked!

In this class we will take an overall look at all of the various aspects of the Good News of Jesus Christ in the telling of his earthly life. Where did they come from? Who wrote them? When were they written? How do they agree? How do they disagree? We’ll try to answer these questions and a number of others. Bring yourself and your Bible with you.

COURSE 4      February 23 - March 29, 2020

There’s More to the Desert Than Las Vegas

        Instructor: Ivor Kraft, Assisting Priest

The fourth century witnessed the end of Christian persecution and the legalization of Christianity in the Empire. One result of this astonishing turn of events was the migration of a large number of Christians into the deserts of Egypt and Syria to pursue lives dedicated to prayer and penance. Collectively they came to be known as the Desert Fathers and their lives and words are the pure spring which have nourished Christian spirituality in general, and monastic life in particular, ever since. We will consider their lives and works which remain profoundly relevant to us and to all Christians.

COURSE 5      April 19 - May 17, 2020

Being The Irreducible Minimum of Catholic Practice

Instructor: Father Christopher T. Cantrell, Rector

That’s the way that the Saint Augustine’s Prayer Book describes what are known as the “Six Precepts of the Church”. The Church has been at this religion business for quite some time now -- So the emphasis is on practice -- what is it that we do? And what is the irreducible minimum expected of us?

In this class we will consider each of the things that are generally expected to be done by anyone who would be a Catholic Christian.

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

Tuesday Evening Adult School

7:00 – 8:30pm September 17 - May 12th, 2020

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.

I 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?

II The Old Testament

Instructor: Donna Wheeler, Parish Catechist

The Old Testament is chock full of mysteries from the Bible. 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’ve covered Genesis through Job. Don’t be put off by that. It will be easy to jump into the narrative and fit right in, beginning with Psalms. 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.