christian education

2021 - 2022 Session

Fear Not!

2022 - 2023

Fear not/Do not be afraid are God’s most frequent commands in the Bible. Father Duncan told us this in a recent sermon, noting that God knows that we all have fears. Some of our fears are concerned with the details of our lives here on earth. Look at the world we’re living in – these are unsettling and frightening times. Who wouldn’t be afraid? But our fears go beyond that. As Father Duncan explained, “While we yearn for God, our yearning ever contains some dread, some fear of what may happen, of what God will see, of what he will think of me.”

Father Duncan provided both Jesus’ description of life without fear, as well as his prescription for what we must to do for fear to be removed from our souls. Jesus’ Rx involves how we view and live our lives in relation to those around us and to God. Ultimately, to overcome fear we must abandon ourselves into the hands of our loving Father. As St. Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless, and they shall never rest until they rest in thee.”

The question that remains is, of course, how do we implement this prescription in our lives? The 2022–2023 adult Christian Education classes are designed to help answer that question. If you want to work toward overcoming fear and calming your restless heart, then join us for the Sunday morning adult classes. See details following.

The Sunday Church School -- Classes for Adults and Children

9:10am – 10:10am in Duncan Hall

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

Tuesday Evening Adult School

7:00pm – 8:30pm in Duncan Hall

An attended nursery is provided.

Church School for Youth

“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 18 – October 23, 2022

I Sing a Song of the Saints of God...

Instructor: Father Christopher T. Cantrell, Rector

“...patient and brave and true.” In the words of the Apostles’ Creed, we declare that we believe in “the communion of saints.” Let’s take a look at this subject. What is this whole business of sanctity? What does it have to do with us? Who gets to be a saint? How many are there? What do the saints have to say about it? There are lots of questions to engage us. “Come and see.”

COURSE 2                                                     October 30 – November 20, 2022

“Lord, Teach Us To Pray”

Instructor: Canon Dwight D. Duncan, Rector Emeritus

So, how’s your prayer life going? Do you even have one, more than wafting up a prayer for help for yourself or someone else or a “thank you” now and again? Prayer is at the heart of a relationship with God. So if we want that, we have to “do it.”

But for many of us, impediments lie in the way: we don’t really know what it is and what it isn’t; we don’t know what to expect from it, or we think we do and our expectations are disappointed; we don’t know how to construct a prayer life, if it is more than an every-now-and-then shot towards God.

The disciples themselves needed help and so they were wise enough, humble enough to ask of Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray.” We’ll have a go at that in this course. Think of it as Prayer Bootcamp.

COURSE 3                                                    December 4 – December 18, 2022

The Story and the Stories

Instructor: Father H. Ivor Kraft, Assisting Priest

The Bible is a collection of books written over many centuries and containing diverse literary forms. There are historical books, prophetic books, poetry and wisdom literature, Gospels and Epistles. And while there is One Author there are many human authors through whom the One Author speaks. In other words, it can all be daunting and more than a little confusing. In this series of classes, we will consider the meaning of the great covenants and how they allow us to find our way through the many and diverse Biblical writings and discern the central message of the Holy Bible.

COURSE 4                                                          January 8 – February 19, 2023

The Most Beautiful Letters of the Apostle Paul

Instructor: Father H. Ivor Kraft, Assisting Priest

Of the twenty-seven writings in the New Testament, fourteen are attributed to the Apostle Paul. They were written to communities and to individuals. Romans and Galatians have, for a number of reasons, received the most comment and arouse the most controversy but the letters to the Ephesians, the Philippians and the Colossians are beautiful and as critically important to our understanding of our Christian faith and life as anything St. Paul wrote. We’ll read them in the light of the Apostle’s life and ministry and reflect on their relevance for us as disciples of Christ and for the Church.

COURSE 5                                                           February 26 – March 26, 2023

“Lord, Speak The Word Only, And My Soul Shall Be Healed”

Instructor: Canon Dwight D. Duncan, Rector Emeritus

I’m not okay and you’re not okay. Which (raise your hands high, wave them about, and shout “Hallelujah!”) IS okay, because we’ve got access to the Great Physician who can make us okay: Jesus (a name which means “Savior”). He’s got a number of tools in his satchel to make us healthy. And a wonderful one is the one which literally required him to go to the Cross in order to make healing available to us.

Yep, this particular tool cost him his life. And it’s one of the most difficult for many of us to avail ourselves of because of what it costs us: some honest looking at ourselves and some honest speaking of ourselves.

But we make it harder than we need to because we don’t understand this tool and its dynamics. So in this course, we’re going to examine in detail the dynamics of this tool of Our Lord’s and how we prepare ourselves to receive it from him. It’s called the Sacrament of Reconciliation. But maybe you know it better as Confession. Don’t be frightened off. Just focus on what it’s all about: getting okay, getting healthy, getting well. Now, doesn’t that sound like something to go after?

COURSE 6                                                                     April 16 – May 21, 2023

You are what you eat! 

Instructor: Father Christopher T. Cantrell, Rector

We are creatures of flesh and blood inhabiting the physical world of the senses. The Father knows our need and has addressed it. We’ll round out this Christian Ed term with a consideration of the rest of the outward and visible signs given by God as sure and certain means of grace. The Catholic Faith is far more than merely an intellectual exercise.

“Taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are they that trust in him!” (Psalm 34:8)

Tuesday Evening Adult School

7:00 – 8:30pm                                         September 20, 2022 - May 23, 2023

Basic Christianity

Instructor: Father Christopher T. 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: The Book of Ezekiel

Instructor: Donna Wheeler, Parish Catechist

The Old Testament course is just what you need for a working knowledge of Scripture. It is appropriate for those who have had little Bible study and for those who have been studying Scripture for many years. In this year’s installment, we will focus on the Book of Ezekiel.

Ezekiel prophesied during the dark days when Judah and Jerusalem were destroyed by the invading Babylonians. Ezekiel is unrelenting in calling out the sinfulness of the kings, priests, and people who turned their backs on God. He calls them to repentance. In stunning visions and symbolic acts, Ezekiel shares God’s promise of salvation – forgiveness, return to the promised land, and reconciliation with God. Ezekiel’s prophecies point us to Christ. In the words of Dr. Peter Kreeft, “In prophets like Ezekiel the Word was made into images, but in Christ the Word was made into flesh.”

Our process is to read a section of text, contemplate it, discuss it, pose and answer questions, enjoy fellowship with one another as we learn – and have fun!