First United Reformed Church in Chino, CA, had a dream: develop a coordinated catechism curriculum for grades five through twelve that encompassed the Three Forms of Unity (the Belgic Confession, the Canons of Dort, and the Heidelberg Catechism) with references to the Westminster Confessions.
After years of effort from many people, the new Life in Christ catechism curriculum now is available online for preview and pre-order!
First URC has arranged with Reformed Fellowship in Grandville, MI, to distribute the material. Reformed Fellowship’s website features the Life in Christ project on its home page, and offers a pre-order special discount of $5 off the regular price per book on orders placed prior to May 15.
From the website:
This new curriculum is designed to instruct young people in the precious biblical Reformed faith in a format that uses sections of explanation, memory work from the confessions and Scripture and questions for discussion. Each lesson also includes space to answer the questions, a high-lighted box of key words and concepts, and personal application of the theme. Each of the volumes comprises twenty-five lessons in an 8-1/2” x 11” spiral-bound study-guide/workbook. Teacher Tips, helps for teaching the lessons, will also be available for most of the volumes.
The consistory of Chino’s First United Reformed Church asked its pastor, Rev. Ronald Scheuers, to begin preparing this project in 2006. Many churches and individuals donated funds toward the project. Additional authors and editors contributed to the effort.
One of those authors and editors was yours truly, Glenda Mathes. I came on board with the project later than many others, but edited numerous lessons during the last half of 2008 and the first half of 2009. In July of 2009, I was asked to write a beginning level volume overviewing the Heidelberg Catechism, and I was asked if I could complete it by December 1. I said I would think and pray about it.
My experience with guided independent study as a non-traditional, older student taught me (among many other things) how to structure my work. I charted my anticipated writing and editing deadlines and factored in the number of lessons for each week in the time period. It looked intense, but viable. I said yes.
Between mid-July and the first of December, I wrote the twenty-five lessons of Not My Own: Discovering God’s Comfort in the Heidelberg Catechism. I was not able to do this because of any personal abiblity; I was able to do this only and completely due to the amazing equipping grace of God.
That is the point I tried to convey in the “Author’s Acknowledgments,” which can be found in the introductory material here. The PDF file additionally shows the cover, table of contents, and the first lesson.
It is my prayer that this volume will help many students discover not only the beauty of the Reformed faith expressed in the Heidelberg Catechism, but also the comfort of God portrayed on every page of Scripture.