More than Just Knowledge

Written by Kim Sutton

The benefits of Adult Faith Classes are almost too numerous to list here! Obviously, there is knowledge; but it is a knowledge that enriches, encourages, brings you closer to God, and surprisingly leaves you wanting more. There is so much to learn about: Scripture, Tradition, the Catholic Faith, Prayer, History, and Life as a Christian to name a few. Many believe that to attend these classes you should know something about the Bible or your faith first. This could not be further from the truth.

I am a perfect example of this. I was not born into the Catholic Faith. In fact, I wasn’t born into any faith at all. I didn’t join the church until I was 30 years old; of course, I learned of my faith in RCIA, but I didn’t truly develop a desire to know God better until I was almost 40. School of Faith had just begun offering classes to adults in Johnson County when I felt that longing to learn so I signed up for Salvation History. I was terrified to walk through the door of that class because I knew absolutely nothing, and if I were called on to answer a question, I knew I would die of shame. I went anyway, was never called upon, and was immediately hooked!

The stories from the Bible were amazing to me, and the more I learned the more they made sense and I started to see how so much of the Bible, the Mass, and life in general fit together. I continued to take every class offered by School of Faith and Ascension Adult Faith.

At the same time, I had been volunteering to teach my children’s SOR classes. The older they got, the harder the questions they posed became. Because of this I enrolled in the Maryvale Catechesis Course through the Archdiocese. This was a two-year program where not only would I be learning, but I would have to write an essay at the end of each module, and it would be graded! It was a great way to make sure I knew what I was supposed to know and that I could echo it back to others. Through all of these classes I learned so much about God, the Catholic Church, and myself. I grew closer to Him in prayer, reading, and teaching. Sunday Mass also started to become more meaningful. I began to recognize and understand better the readings from the Bible because I had studied them and the background around them. I also had taken a few classes that explained the parts of the Mass which I had never learned before. Around this time, I also answered a call to volunteer to facilitate Adult Faith classes.

Our church is blessed to have an amazing Adult Faith Ministry. Liz Willman has built a beautiful program for Adults that includes RCIA, Christ Renews His Parish, and the Adult Faith classes (my personal favorite). She has found many volunteers to lead these classes and encourages us to find good, Catholic courses we are interested in to share with the parish each year. Women and men of all ages come to our classes. Some know their faith well; others are like I was and have to start at the beginning. Our classes include reading, sometimes workbooks and videos, often small group discussion, and occasionally large group discussion. No one is ever forced to answer a question or speak to the class, but everyone is more than welcome to do just that. Each of us strives to create a warm, welcoming, non-threatening environment where everyone can relax and be themselves and learn at their own pace.

This leads to another major benefit: fellowship and community. I have met so many wonderful people who have become friends and prayer partners. I have also watched friendships be formed and strengthened throughout the classes. They often sign up together for more classes and even bring family, friends, and neighbors. Everyone is always welcome! We would love to have you join us on our journey of faith, learning, making new friends, and ultimately falling more in love with our God. Classes and registration can always be found in the bulletin and the Ascent.

August 2022 Ascent
Course Catalog begins on page 17