Dr. Rhoda Schuler, assistant project director for a Vital Worship Grant,* provides this update on the research work.
- In June, Dr. Schuler and project director Dr. Kent Burreson from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis attended the Worship Grants Seminar at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan; it was an inspiring two days of networking with past and current grant recipients.
- By July the two researchers had selected the four “model congregations” to be studied and by September both had visited their two congregations and conducted in-depth interviews with the pastors, lay leaders, and new disciples involved in the catechumenal process.
- In preparation for a video conference to take place in mid-November, Schuler and Burreson are conducting phone interviews with the pastors of four “mentored congregations.” The researchers hope that lessons learned and best practices developed by the model congregations will guide the mentored congregations toward developing stronger adult catechumenal processes.
- Both Schuler and Burreson have already noted valuable insights from the interviews with the model congregations. Each one has adapted its adult catechumenal process to the particular ministry context and size of the congregation. Most encouraging is the language of “congregational renewal and vision” that the participating congregational leaders have used in the interviews.
- For most of the congregations, the catechumenal process culminates at the Easter Vigil. The focus of this service on incorporation into the Body of Christ through baptism and the Christian’s daily living to and from the font is an opportunity for the whole congregation to be renewed in its baptismal life of love of God and service to neighbor.
*This program is made possible through a Vital Worship Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Grand Rapids, Michigan, with funds provided by Lilly Endowment Inc. To read more about the grant, go to https://www.csp.edu/news/csps-rhoda-schuler-to-serve-as-assistant-project-director-for-vital-worship-grant-study/ or https://us6.campaign-archive.com/?e=d5684c486f&u=27d95293bfd1a5a9032d58095&id=f06cc658b7
Dr. Schuler’s participation is supported in part with a grant from the Hoffmann Institute.