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Thursdays, February 15-March 21, 2024 • 6:30 p.m.

Contact the Rev. Zack Thompson to sign up.

What does it mean to call yourself a Christian in 21st century New York?

The word “catechumenate” (cata-CUE-men-it) describes an ancient process in the early Church by which people prepared for baptism at the Easter Vigil by gathering regularly for instruction and prayer. Exploring the core beliefs of the Christian faith was central, but the idea was less about teaching a set body of doctrine and more about training candidates in the Christian life. Spiritual growth was the goal.

The Catechumenate at St. James’ is a similarly immersive experience in Christian faith and practice. Are you interested in asking the questions you never thought you could ask? Curious about the basic teachings of the Christian faith, and what difference they might make in your life? Want to learn more about the Sacraments and the worship life of the Church? Want to know more about the life of prayer that God intends and desires for each of us? The Catechumenate is meant for you. And your spiritual growth is the goal.

Each week we will gather for a meal, hear a talk on one of the central questions of the Christian faith, and then join in small-group discussion. Through both listening and sharing, we will wrestle with those foundational questions in the context of faith and in the company of fellow seekers. Conversations will be facilitated by the Rev. Zack Thompson and by the other clergy. We will end our time together each week with a simple service of Compline in the Chapel.

Who is Invited?

Maybe God is inviting you! Everyone should find something of interest, be enriched, and make deeper relationships within the parish, especially:

  • those who have never been part of a church.
  • those who are returning to church after a long absence.
  • those who have belonged to another faith tradition, but find themselves drawn to Christ.
  • Christians from another denomination who want to explore the Episcopal/Anglican tradition.
  • life-long Episcopalians who would like to engage faith afresh.

Really, we encourage everyone at St. James’ to take part in the Catechumenate at some point.

What might we be asking together?
  • Can we question our faith?
  • Who is Jesus?
  • Why did Jesus have to die?
  • What do we have to do?
  • How should I read the Bible?
  • Does God answer prayer?
  • Why do bad things happen?
  • Where do we go when we die?
  • Why do I need church?
  • What does it mean to be an Episcopalian?