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What is a “Catechism” (kat-a-kism)? It could be described as a series of questions and answers that help us to learn about the Christian faith. Each year the Christian Education and Nurture Committee give people an opportunity to take some time to learn from the Westminster Shorter Catechism – which sounds harder than it is. The Westminster Shorter Catechism (WSC) has 107 questions, and while we would encourage you to learn all the answers, you don’t need to do this for the annual competition.
Who can do this?
Any child up to the end of Year 10.
What do I need to learn?
Each year a list of 14 questions will be sent to you to learn. In July we will send your minister an exam paper for you to fill out and return. There are three versions of the Catechism available. One is the traditional version, which your parents might know. The other is a modernised version by Douglas Kelly. While these have their differences, they all deal with the same doctrinal questions. If you are in grade 6 to year 10, we would encourage you to have a go at these ones.
If you are in Primary School, you can have a go at the Children's Catechism. These questions and answers will be good for you to learn.
When will I be tested?
For 2018 the test papers will be sent out in mid-July for people to work through them in one sitting during the week of Sunday July 22-July 29. Students will be asked to answer 14 questions from the Catechism and two questions that show their understanding (graded according to school year level). Please make sure your minister knows you want to be involved.
For those who aren’t keen on writing answers, I will be very happy to receive a video recording. Quality isn’t too important, as long as I can hear what is being said. Video files can get very big very quickly. Please check the settings on your phone / camera before sending them to me.
In 2017 we had a bunch of papers go missing for a while. It's a good idea to scan or photograph these before sending the hard copies to me. I'm happy to receive the soft copy as well.
Why should I learn the Catechism?
There are two good reasons. Firstly, you will learn so much about the Christian faith that will help as you grow older. Secondly, you could win a great prize. Those learning the Children's Catechism can win up to $40, and those learning the Modern or Traditional version can win a prize up to $150, a book voucher, or a subsidy to the PYV Summer Camp.
What if I still have some questions?
I look forward to reading your answers.