On April 24th, we had the privilege and honor of celebrating the covenant baptism of Benjamin Perry Helms during the evening service. That baptism was designed by God to be a means of grace not only for little Ben and his family, but for the whole church. When was the last time you really chewed upon the meaning of this mysterious ordinance with the molars of your mind?
Baptism is both a sign and a seal of God’s covenantal love for his people. It’s a living parable; an organic illustration of the gospel. What does it signify? It signifies the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ and the enabling grace of the Holy Spirit. Ezekiel said, “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleanness (Ezekiel 36:25).” What does baptism seal? Baptism is God’s holy mark, his embossed impression of ownership, upon the one to whom it is administered. The Westminster Shorter Catechism beautifully describes baptism as the believer’s engagement to be the Lord’s.
Unlike the Lord’s Supper, the administration of baptism requires the public taking of oaths and vows. Katie and Kevin acknowledged Ben’s need for Jesus to save him from his sins. Before those assembled, they claimed God’s covenant promises on Ben’s behalf and they unreservedly dedicated him to God, promising to raise him in the fear and admonition of the Lord. But Katie and Kevin weren’t the only one’s who made promises! “Do you as a congregation undertake the responsibility of assisting the parents in the Christian nurture of this child?” And with one voice we replied, “We do!”
Thus, Westminster makes the spiritual nurture of our covenant children one of its chief priorities. For the past year, the session has been prayerfully considering ways in which we might reform, strengthen, and deepen our Christian education endeavors. Unto that end, the session erected a Christian Education Committee (CEC), chaired by Debbie Brigham, to propose a mission statement and curriculum overhaul (below). That proposal was enthusiastically approved by the session.
So what do you need to know? Sunday school for children will not be held during the summer months of June, July, and August. This break will allow the CEC to organize and restock classrooms, train teachers and assistants, and prepare the new curriculum. Children and families are encouraged to join the adult Sunday school class, led by Bob Moore, in the fellowship hall from 9:30-10:30. The new and improved children’s Sunday school will launch on September 4thth.
So what do you need to do? One of the most significant obstacles to children’s Sunday school in the past has been a lack of participation and parental involvement. Will you parents please prayerfully consider making Sunday school a part of your Lord’s Day? Through the selfless labors of Debbie Brigham and others, God is preparing a banquet that the hearts and souls of your children might feast upon the beauty of Jesus Christ and the manna of God’s Word. Let them eat!
Christian Education Committee Mission Statement
“The Christian Education of Westminster’s youth is intended to support parents in the discipleship of their children that they might be thoroughly trained in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
The purpose of this curriculum is, by God’s grace, to produce young men and woman who know and cherish their Bibles that they may be complete and equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:17). Additionally, the curriculum is designed to lay a thoroughly Presbyterian historical and theological foundation by relying heavily and unashamedly on the Westminster Standards & the historic ecumenical creeds. Beneath each age group you will find the curriculum goals.
A. Preschool: ages 2-4
1) Introduction to the Bible – 40 Bible Episodes Every Child Should Know
These stories will represent a survey of the most memorable, foundational, and Christ- centered stories of the Bible.
B. Elementary: ages 5-7
1) Studying God’s Word: Book B- Through the Children’s Catechism Q.1-60
2) Apostle’s Creed (memorized)
C. Middle School: ages 8-13
1) VERITAS Bible Curriculum
a. Year 1- Genesis-Joshua
b. Year 2- Judges-Kings
c. Year 3- Chronicles- Malachi
d. Year 4- Gospels
e. Year 5- Acts-Revelation
D. High School: ages 14-18
1) Westminster Confession of Faith
a. Year 1-WCF 1-8 (Scripture, God, Creation, Fall, Covenant of Grace)
b. Year 2-WCF 9-18 (Christ, Redemption, Good Works, Perseverance & Assurance)
c. Year 3-WCF 19-24 (Law of God, Liberty, Sabbath, Magistrate, Marriage)
d. Year 4-WCF 25-33 (Church, Sacraments, Eschatology)
2) Westminster Shorter Catechism
a. Year 1- Questions 1-20
b. Year 2- Questions 21-38
c. Year 3- Questions 39-87
d. Year 4- Questions 88-107
3) Nicene Creed (memorized)
4) Chalcedonian Creed (explored)
If you have any questions, contact Debbie Brigham at: firstname.lastname@example.org