We see that it is not the task of Christianity
to provide easy answers to every question,
but to make us progressively aware of a mystery.
God is not so much the object of our knowledge,
but the cause of our wonder.
~ Met. Kallistos Ware
Time & Location
Catechism class meets in the portable buildings behind the main Church building. Due to our growth, the location occasionally changes. We are currently meeting in the Church office meeting area. If you are unsure, simply ask one of our ushers, or our Pastor Fr. Anthony after service.
In order to allow time for the class, Catechism is held immediately after the Eucharist is served. Note that this is prior to the Divine Liturgy service being fully completed. As the Eucharist draws to a close, there will still be a number of people moving around, mainly those still in line who are now going back to their seats. Quietly exit the Church at this time. Head over to the Fellowship hall, grab some coffee and food, and take your plate to the catechism class. If it's raining, we normally will quickly eat in the fellowship hall and then go to the Catechism class.
The following are links to materials used in the Catechism Class. This materials list is subject to change each year. Check with Deacon Photios to see if copies of these books are currently available through the Church.
The Orthodox Church by Met. Kallistos Ware
Bread & Water, Wine & Oil: An Orthodox Christian Experience of God by Fr. Melletios Webber
Study Guide for Bread & Water, Wine & Oil (download) by St. Anthony Orthodox Church
Recommended but not required:
The Orthodox Study Bible by St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology
Additional Modern Materials
The Long Catechism of Metropolitan Philaret (Drozdov) of Moscow is a link to an external website containing the English translation of this formal Catechism. It is written in the modern style of questions and answers. The index breaks things down into subject area if you have specific questions you are looking to understand.
Supplemental Extra-Biblical Ancient Church Writings
None of the following are in any way required reading; it is supplemental for those who may be interested. Also, the list is certainly not exhaustive, but rather contains a representation of materials available to and used by the Early Church.
The following resources were not canonized into the NT Scripture, although some of the earliest were discussed as candidates, and all of these were well known to early Christians. Many of these were commonly read in the Churches along with the Gospels and Epistles.
While we will not be looking at any of these in detail in the Catechism class, they are included here as outstanding references to see into the mind and heart of the Early Church, as they help disclose some of the culture and common beliefs which the Ancient Church held, and explain some of our modern Orthodox practices. (For example: Did the Ancient Church fast every Wednesday and Friday? See Didache 8:1.)
Word of Warning:
Understand that Patristics is an advanced area of theological study. Do not read one specific writing or one Church Father and assume that all other Church Fathers agree with him on every point, or that any one work represents the fullness of the Orthodox Christian faith. Orthodoxy is councilor and collegiate; our dogma and doctrine comes not from any one given Church Father but from the consensus of all of the Church Fathers.