Category Archives: Bulletin Inserts

Unified Congregational Catechesis — Printer Ready, Aesthetically Pleasing

You have got to see this to believe it. Simply amazing.

Pastor Michael Mohr, Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Strasburg, Illinois (LCMS) has developed a complete program of congregational catechesis.

This is a coordinated approach for the whole congregation. In this program, youth are not over in one mind while adults are somewhere else in another mind. Everyone is together, learning and refreshing the same things during the same week.

Not only are all the ages united, but the several activities of the congregation and homes merge into one. Worship is not separated from confirmation, confirmation is not separated from family devotion, and family devotion is not separated from congregational worship. There is, if I may say, a sort of a Trinitarian design to this unified program.

The portion of the Small Catechism and the Bible texts associated with that portion are used in the Divine Service, in confirmation instruction, and family devotions.

For each week, the material provides families with preprinted:

  • family devotion
  • prayer
  • additional readings

that are coordinated with the week’s portion of the Small Catechism and the Bible texts.

People are united. Activities are united. The Small Catechism provides the center and unity of this elegant agenda. This is an organism of catechesis that can breath life into a fellowship of confession in which we all come to understand, believe, and confess in common with each other one shared faith.

The coordination is well illustrated by one of the sets of materials in the program, the bulletin inserts. The front of the inserts are to be read as part of the worship service or family devotion time, with students (and adults) memorizing given sections according to their level and reviewing (and rememorizing) those sections assigned to lower levels. A devotion is included on the back of the insert for families to use in their devotions during the week. An example of the front and back of the inserts is shown below in this blog post.

The materials are designed with levels built in according to age-related ability.

Inserts for each week of the academic year (September through May) cover the Six Chief Parts. Inserts for the summer months cover the Table of Duties and the Nicene Creed. Booklets include just the memory work portions and are intended as a resource for students who want to work ahead in completing memory work assignments. A schedule is also included to assist in publishing the correct inserts on the correct Sundays.

Because the text of the creeds is different in The Lutheran Hymnal than it is in Lutheran Worship or The Lutheran Service Book, a separate set of inserts is available for congregations using TLH who wish their students to memorize the text that is used in that hymnal.

Downloads available include:

High Resolution Masters for Bulletin Inserts

School Year Inserts (TLH Version)
Summer Inserts (TLH Version)

Low Resolution Masters for Bulletin Inserts

School Year Inserts (TLH Version)
Summer Inserts (TLH Version)

Quiz Resources

“First Try” Quizzes (some words omitted, first letter of word given) (TLH Version)
“Second Try” Quizzes (some words omitted, no letters given) (TLH Version)
“Third Try” Quizzes (all words omitted, punctuation given) (TLH Version)
Quiz Administration and Grading Guidelines

Other Resources

Student Booklets (TLH Version)
Schedule for Inserts
Table of Bible Verses and Passages

As you can see, this is a turn-key deal. It is all there for you. Simply print and go.

Here are the front and back of one bulletin insert so that you can quickly get the idea of the content and coordination of this program.


Free ! –– Bulletin Inserts — Large Catechism Readings for Lent, Holy Week, and Easter

LutheranCatechism.com provides without charge bulletin inserts for Lent, Holy Week, and Easter that present readings from Luther’s Large Catechism. The selections are edited from the Meissner schedule for the one-year lectionary. Simply download and print the inserts.

Links to the collection of inserts are listed below in this post, but first here is an explanation of the selections.

Rev. Craig A. Meissner, Pastor, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Steger, Illinois, created “Large Catechism Readings for the One-Year Lectionary (LSB),” 2013. The selections are good.

The size of the portions selected for a given day in Pastor Meissner’s schedule varies. Often the selections fill a whole bulletin, not just an insert. In some settings, that is more than parishioners would read. Many people would pass over something entirely that, at a glance, strikes them as too much.

Where that is not a problem, I recommend bulletins Rev. Erich R. Fickel, Pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Chesterton, Indiana, prepared following Rev. Meissner’s schedule. Those bulletins use Rev. Meissner’s complete selections for a given day. They are distributed on the website of Emmanuel Press.

The ones provided here by LutheranCatechism.com offer an option for settings in which  content needs to be limited to an insert, thinking it is better that people read part of Meissner’s selection rather than none of it.

I began with Rev. Meissner’s schedule and looked for ways to reduce the size, such as by removing paragraphs that reiterated in different language points made elsewhere in the selections for the day. In a distressing number of cases, I had to simply choose between paragraphs solely for the sake of controlling size, according to what I thought would bear the most significance to readers.

I welcome feedback about how to improve the selections, formatting, and presentation of the material. [ Contact by Email ]  Meissner’s schedule fulfills the whole year, and if the ones already completed prove to have value, I will work to gradually prepare the ones for the rest of the year. The listing will be maintained at the Bulletins & Inserts page of this site.

The text is from Triglot Concordia at BookOfConcord.org, except that I updated the language of the Commandments following the The 2010 Sola/ReClaim Edition of Luther’s Small Catechism.

Here is the collection for Lent, Holy Week, and Easter:

Ash Wednesday
Lent 1 – Invocabit
Lent 2 – Reminiscere
Lent 3 – Oculi
Lent 4 – Laetare
Lent 5 – Judica
Palm Sunday – Palmarum
Maundy Thursday
Good Friday
Holy Saturday (Easter Vigil)
Easter – The Resurrection of Our Lord

Bulletin Insert – One Church-Year Catechism Reading Plan

A recent post on this blog published and explained one church-year catechism reading plan contributed by a pastor. We have formulated it into a ready-to-print bulletin insert. Please feel free to use it and pass it around if it would be suitable for you.

If you have reading plans for using the Small Catechism in the home, would you consider sharing them? There is no one size that fits all. If we can provide a variety of ready-made plans, each person and each family can chose the one most suitable for them. It is not important which plan people use. What is important is that they have a plan, and that it is a plan they actually will use because it suits their situation.

A new page has been created here, “Reading Plans,” to gather together whatever plans we obtain.

“Catechism Corner” (and more) in Weekly Children’s Bulletins (One Year Lectionary)

Lessons For Lambs

These are mentioned here because of the “Catechism Corner” that each contains, and the rest of each bulletin also is, well, frankly, amazing. Consider how this Catechism Corner puts the Catechism before little children each week, and how it shows parents the ease of using little portions of the Catechism.

Lessons for Lambs is a children’s bulletin that follows the one-year historic lectionary. Lessons for Lambs is not meant to serve as a way to keep kids busy and quiet during the service, but rather to involve them in what’s going on in the service so they can begin thinking about it. The bulletins are geared toward kids in 2nd through 6th grades with varying degrees of independence. They could certainly be used with younger kids, in part, with help from their parents, and by older kids who still need a better theological foundation.

This resource for churches was developed by Mrs. Heidi Sias (comments welcome, Send Email), and is free of charge for congregational use.

Each bulletin contains:

  1. Name of the church year week (with an explanation if necessary)
    and color;
  2. Artwork depicting the Gospel reading for the kids to color (front cover artwork is by Ed Riojas and has been used by permission of Higher Things  copyright © 2006. If you would like to order a complete set of the cover art, CLICK HERE);
  3. Something for the kids to “listen for” during the service;
  4. The week’s Gospel reading with questions to think about;
  5. A biography of a featured person from the Bible (related to one of the weekly readings when possible);
  6. A catechism lesson (from the 1912 version, now in public domain, which is almost identical to the 1943 edition familiar to many older LCMS members) and/or hymn (also public domain); and
  7. A puzzle related to what is covered in the week’s bulletin (word search, crossword or word scramble).
  8. Some weeks also include additional artwork to color or drawing
    boxes asking the children to draw something related to the week.

Bulletin Insert – One Simple Weekly Catechism Reading Plan

In response to the post, “One Simple Catechism Reading Plan,” a pastor commented on Facebook that he was going to print the post as a bulletin insert. If that reading plan has value for his congregation, then perhaps it also has value for other congregations. So here is a link to a revision of the post content and a reformatting of it into a ready-to-print bulletin insert. Please feel free to use it and pass it around if it would be suitable for you.

Another pastor commented that the one week plan looks good to him for the head of the family and for adults in their personal readings, but for family readings with children as young as his, he thought it bit off too much per session. He already had developed a schedule that spread the catechism over a year and tied it to the church calendar. It is brilliant. You’ve got to see it. Having obtained his permission, after some formatting, his schedule will be posted on this site in the near future.

If you have reading plans for using the Small Catechism in the home, would you consider sharing them? There is no one size that fits all. If we can provide a variety of ready-made plans, each person and each family can chose the one most suitable for them. It is not important which plan people use. What is important is that they have a plan, and that it is a plan they actually will use because it suits their situation.

A new page is being created here, “Reading Plans,” to keep whatever plans we can gather handy on the menu from any page on this site.