Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Confirmation Homework: Gospel of Mark Chapter 7 & 8

Please answer these ten questions about Mark’s Gospel, chapters 7 & 8.

Who came with the Pharisees from Jerusalem to see Jesus?

According to Jesus, who once said, “Honor your father and your mother?”

To which region did Jesus go next?

What did the Syro-Phonecian woman ask Jesus to do?

What does the Aramaic word “Eph’phatha’ mean?

How many loaves did the disciples have with them in the desert?

How many people did the disciples miraculously feed with Jesus?

In which village did the people bring a blind man to Jesus?

Who did people think that Jesus was?

What did Jesus say that people had to do in order to follow Him?

Lesson 04 - Tradition - What is a Presbyterian?

Presbyterian – what does it mean and where did the word come from?

‘Presbyterian’ is a name given to specific Christians who are Reformed Protestants. It can also refer to the type of church where Reformed traditions are practiced.
e.g.        People who join Erin Church are called Presbyterians.
                Erin Church is part of the PC(USA) Presbyterian denomination.
        People at Erin Presbyterian Church worship God according to Reformed practices.

The word ‘Presbyterian’ has its roots in an old word ‘presbuteros,’ which is the original New Testament Greek word for ‘elder’. Presbyterian churches usually have elders who both lead and serve the congregation to which they belong. At Erin, we have many people who have served as elders. Our Session has currently 20 elders – 19 ruling elders, including the Session Clerk, and one teaching elder – the Pastor.

How many elders in our church can you name?

What do you think that a ruling elder does?

What do you think that a teaching elder does?
At Erin, our elders meet once per month on the third Thursday evening in the Heritage Room to discuss what’s happening in our church and to make decisions on behalf of the congregation. The pastor chairs the meeting and is called the Moderator of the Session.

What kind of decisions do you think our elders make at the Session meeting? Why is it important to have a group of people make decisions for the whole church?

Handout the Booklet: History of the Presbyterian Church

Presbyterians began as a protesting movement against the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century. A Frenchman, John Calvin, began the movement, which was originally called “Calvinism.” He suggested that local churches could rule themselves without bishops, cardinals, or popes. Groups of these churches in the same region could meet together on a regular basis to support one another. 

These meetings were called Presbyteries. Erin Presbyterian is part of the Presbytery of East Tennessee.

Let’s watch a video of the Presbytery of East Tennessee

According to the video, what is Presbytery and what does it do?

Presbyteries that group together to meet twice a year are called Synods. We are in the Synod of the Living Waters. Here is a map of the Synod

Our Synod meets twice per year to discuss mission projects mainly connected to supplying clean water in different parts of our country and around the world.

General Assembly

The largest meeting of elders in our denomination takes place every two years at a different location. Hundreds of ruling and teaching elders gather together to make important decisions about the Church’s life, work, and ministry in our nation and throughout the world. Youth delegates from each Presbytery are also chosen to attend the meeting and their opinions about the whole church are very important for the future of our denomination.

Let’s watch a video of how our system as Presbyterians in the PCUSA actually works:

The Constitution of the PC(USA) is made up of two books:
The Book of Confessions
The Book of Common Order

So, what is a Presbyterian?

­­­­­­­­­­­­­Any other questions?

Your Bible assignment for this week is to read the chapters 7 & 8 of the Gospel of Mark, as well as completing the question sheet. Bring it back to our next meeting. Our next meeting takes place on Sunday February 28 at 4:45PM.

Finish with prayer.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Confirmation Homework - Mark Chapters 5 & 6 questions

The homework assignment for our next class is to read chapter 5 & 6 of the Gospel of Mark. Here are the ten homework questions which are also to be completed:

Please answer these ten questions about Mark’s Gospel, chapters 5 & 6.

To which region did Jesus go to, across the lake?

What name did the demon possessed man reveal to Jesus?

What was the name of the synagogue leader whose daughter was sick?

What did Jesus say to the old woman who was healed by touching His clothes?

What Aramaic words did Jesus speak to raise up the little girl?

What were the names of Jesus’ brothers?

How did John the Baptist die?

Why did Jesus have compassion for the crowd?

How many basketfuls of fish and bread were collected after the people had eaten?

When the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water, they thought He was a ghost. What did He say to reassure them?

                                                            Name:  ____________________________

Lesson 03 - Healing - Where is God When It Hurts?

Healing – what does it mean?

Healing means to cure something that is painful or to fix something that is broken. A major part of Christ’s life had to do with healing, which is why our Gospels contain many of His miracles.

e.g.        Jesus healed the sick and cured the lame.
                The leper came to Jesus and asked to be healed.
                Christ went from town to town preaching, teaching, and healing the sick.

At Erin church, we say prayers for health and healing in our worship services.
Why do you think we do this?

Who did Jesus heal?

The Gospels mainly give us stories and reports of Christ’s three year ministry in and around the towns of Galilee. As well as teaching His people new ideas about God and preaching the Gospel, Jesus also healed people with different diseases, sicknesses, and illnesses. Sometimes He healed them immediately; at other times He asked questions first. Sometimes Jesus touched sick people and healed them; on one occasion a woman touched Him and was healed.
How many healing stories of Jesus can you remember?


Let’s read a healing story from Matthew’s Gospel: Matthew 9:1-8
Who comes to Jesus for healing? What does Jesus do at first? Who is offended at this?  What does Jesus do next? What does this story tell us about Jesus and His power?

Jesus healed people because He wanted to make people feel better, in the hope that their healing would also restore them to God’s love.

Let’s a watch a video of Christ healing a leper
Jesus Heals the Leper – The Bible – the Series   

If the video is not available, here is the Gospel story:

Matthew 8:1-4
When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

What do you think of this story?                                             

What was leprosy?                                                        

Why did Jesus touch the leper?

What do you think happened next?

Based on the Gospel stories, why do we pray for healing in Church?________________________________________________________________________

Do our prayers work? What happens when healing doesn’t occur?

Why do people get sick? Why do we feel pain? What things hurt our feelings? What things make us sad?

How does having faith help us? Where is God when bad things happen or disasters occur?

Have there been any painful times in our lives when we’ve asked God to help, but we didn’t get it?

Part of the Statement of Faith in the  PCUSA

In 1983 when the PCUSA was formed, our denomination created a Statement of Faith for the whole church. It expresses our beliefs in Jesus and includes a description about His ministry of healing, as well as His identification with our pain. Here is what it states:

We trust in Jesus Christ,
Fully human, fully God.
Jesus proclaimed the reign of God:
preaching good news to the poor
and release to the captives,
teaching by word and deed
and blessing the children,
healing the sick
and binding up the brokenhearted,
eating with outcasts,
forgiving sinners,
and calling all to repent and believe the gospel.
Unjustly condemned for blasphemy and sedition,
Jesus was crucified,
suffering the depths of human pain
and giving his life for the sins of the world.
God raised this Jesus from the dead,
vindicating his sinless life,
breaking the power of sin and evil,
delivering us from death to life eternal.

What does this tell us about Jesus? Why did He suffer on the Cross? How does this help us with our own suffering, illnesses, and pain?

­­­­­­­­­­­­­Any other questions?

Your Bible assignment for this week is to read the chapters 5 & 6 of the Gospel of Mark, as well as completing the question sheet. Bring it back to our next meeting. Our next meeting takes place on 
Sunday February 21 at 4:45PM.

Finish with prayer.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Confirmation Homework 02 - Gospel of Mark Chapters 3 & 4

Please answer these ten questions about Mark’s Gospel, chapters 3 & 4.

1.       Where did Jesus heal the man with the shriveled hand?


2.       Who wanted to kill Jesus for healing on the Sabbath?


3.       Name one of the places mentioned where people came from to listen to Jesus.


4.       Which disciple was a zealot?


5.       What sin cannot be forgiven?


6.       What happened to the seed that fell among the thorns?


7.       What are Christ’s special teaching stories called?


8.       Complete this statement : “He who has ears to hear ________________________


9.       What is the smallest seed in Christ’s story?


10.   Where was Jesus sleeping on the boat during the storm?


                                                                                                                Name:  ___________

Lesson 02 - Discipleship - Called by God

Discipleship – what does it mean?

Discipleship means to follow the teachings of someone else. A person who does this is called a disciple.

e.g.        The Discipleship team at church decided to focus on the teachings of Jesus.

                James and John left their boats to follow Jesus to become His disciples.

                Applying Christ’s words in our lives is what makes us true disciples of Jesus.

In church, when we speak about Discipleship, we are referring to how we learn about Jesus, as well as how we can practice what He has taught in our daily lives.

So the process of Confirmation involves Discipleship.

Who were the Disciples?

When Jesus began His ministry in Galilee, He called twelve people to serve Him as His disciples. They followed Him everywhere and He taught them special things that only He knew about God. Many other people followed Jesus and there were perhaps as many as seventy disciples who traveled with Him. The Twelve Disciples, however, were the closest people to Him; some of them, like Simon Peter, were even His best friends.

How many disciples can you name?

____________________           ____________________

____________________           ____________________

____________________           ____________________

____________________           ____________________

____________________           ____________________

____________________           ____________________          

You can find the whole list of disciples at Matthew 10:1-4

All of the disciples listed are men. Why weren’t women listed as His disciples? Can you name some of the women who were important in Jesus’ life and perhaps should have been listed as disciples, too?


Jesus called Peter and Andrew, James and John to become His disciples. They were all fishermen who caught fish for a living on Lake Galilee. Why do you think Jesus chose fishermen first to be His disciples?

Let’s a watch a video of Christ calling Peter to become His disciples

Jesus Calls Peter – The Bible – the Series

What do you think of this story?                                               ­________________________________________


What do you think Simon Peter felt?                      ________________________________________


What happened to the twelve disciples?

Jesus’ death on the cross, as described in the New Testament, has become one of the most famous historical events. But what happened to the 12 disciples who were his closest followers? Not as much information has survived about their fates, but here is what’s available from various sources, including the New Testament itself, apocryphal texts, early Christian historians, legends and lore.

Simon, AKA Peter: Simon-Peter, who was appointed by Jesus the leader of the new sect, is viewed by Roman Catholics as the first pope, was eventually martyred in Rome during the reign of the emperor Nero. As the story goes, Peter asked to be crucified upside down, so that his death would not be the equal of Jesus and the Romans supposedly obliged.

Andrew: According to 15th Century religious historian Dorman Newman, Andrew—the brother of Peter—went to Patras in western Greece in 69 AD, where the Roman proconsul Aegeates debated religion with him. Aegeates tried to convince Andrew to forsake Christianity, so that he would not have to torture and execute him. But when that didn’t work, apparently he decided to give Andrew the full treatment. Andrew was scourged, and then tied rather than nailed to a cross, so that he would suffer for a longer time before dying. Andrew lived for two days, during which he preached to passersby.

James (son of Zebedee, AKA James the Greater): Acts 12:1-19 says that James was killed with a sword. The newly-appointed governor of Judea, Herod Agrippa, decided to ingratiate himself with the Romans by persecuting leaders of the new sect. After James was arrested and led to place of execution, his unnamed accuser was moved by his courage. He not only repented and converted on the spot, but asked to be executed alongside James. The Roman executioners obliged, and both men were beheaded simultaneously.

John: John was the only one of the original disciples not to die a violent death. Instead, he passed away peacefully in Patmos in his old age, sometime around 100 AD. He was, however, badly burned by being thrown into a vat of boiling oil. He was rescued by his friends.

Philip: Philip, the first of Jesus’ disciples, became a missionary in Asia. Eventually, he traveled to the Egyptian city of Heliopolis, where he was scourged, thrown into prison, and crucified in 54 AD.

Bartholomew: Bartholomew supposedly preached in several countries, including India, where he translated the Gospel of Matthew for believers. In one account, “impatient idolaters” beat Bartholomew and then crucified him, while in another, he was skinned alive and then beheaded.

Thomas: Apparently Thomas preached the gospel in Greece and India, where he angered local religious authorities, who martyred him by running him through with a spear.

Matthew: According to legend, the former tax collector turned missionary was martyred in Ethiopia, where he was supposedly stabbed in the back by an swordsman sent by King Hertacus, after he criticized the king’s morals.

James (son of Alphaeus, AKA James the Less): According to Foxe, James, who was elected by his fellow believers to head the churches of Jerusalem, was one of the longest-lived apostles, perhaps exceeded only by John. At the age of 94, he was beaten and stoned by persecutors, and then killed him by hitting him in the head with a club.

Thaddaeus, AKA Lebbaeus, Judas or Jude: According to several stories, he was crucified at Edessa (the name of cities in both Turkey and Greece) in 72 AD.

Simon the Canaanite AKA the Zealot: Simon preached in Mauritania on the west coast of Africa, and then went to England, where he was crucified in 74 AD.

Judas Iscariot: According to Matthew 27:3-6, the treacherous apostle quickly felt remorse over his betrayal of Jesus and went to the Temple to recant. When the high priests ignored his plea, he threw down the 30 pieces of silver that he had been paid, and went off and hanged himself.  But Acts 1:15-20, gives a different and even grislier version of Judas’ demise. He says that Judas used the blood money to purchase a piece of land and then fell headlong from a high place there, so that “he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.” Jerusalem residents subsequently named the place Aceldama, which means “the field of blood.”

What do you think about these stories? How much did their discipleship – following Jesus – cost them?

Jesus once told them these words: “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” – Matthew 16:24-25.  

Does this make discipleship a scary thing to do?

Discipleship in the PCUSA

When people join our church, they are asked to make special promises publicly before God and the Erin congregation. When you are confirmed, you will also be asked to make similar promises. One of those promises involves discipleship. This is how it is asked and answered:

1.       Will you be Christ’s faithful disciple, obeying his Word and showing his love?

Answer: I will, with God’s help.

Why are people asked to make this commitment?



Why is it important to have God’s help in becoming a disciple of Christ?



How do we help people become disciples of Christ at Erin Church?



After He rose from the dead and just before Jesus ascended into Heaven, He gave His disciples a special commandment, which has become known to us in church as the Great Commission. Here is the Bible passage from Matthew, chapter 28:16-20.

The Great Commission

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Why did Jesus make this the last thing that He spoke to His disciples? What was He wanting them to do?



How does Erin church carry on that Great Commission today? How can you help to fulfill it, too?



Do you remember how we defined the word ‘Discipleship’ at the beginning of our lesson?


Before we finish, we are now going to watch another video about discipleship and what it means for your generation. Church is about making disciples, but not just for the church’s sake – we make disciples to go out into the world for Christ’s sake.

“What is Discipleship?”                     

Your Bible assignment for this week is to read the chapters 3 & 4 of the Gospel of Mark, as well as completing the question sheet. Bring it back to our next meeting. Our next meeting takes place next Sunday morning during the Sunday school hour from (9:30AM to 10:30AM).

Finish with prayer.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Confirmation Homework 01: Gospel of Mark 1 & 2

In between each lesson, the Confirmation candidates will be asked to read two chapters of the Gospel of Mark. They will also be required to answer ten questions about the people and events depicted in the chapters. Parents can read the chapters with their young people and help them to answer the questions. Homework sheets will be given out at the end of each lesson and the students will be expected to return those completed sheets at the next class.

Here are the first ten questions based on Mark chapters 1 & 2

Please answer these ten questions about the first two chapters of Mark

1. What did John the Baptist eat?______________________________________________________________________

2. What was the name of James and John’s father?______________________________________________________________________

3. In which town did Jesus begin his teaching at the synagogue?______________________________________________________________________

4. Which relative of Simon’s became sick with a fever?______________________________________________________________________

5. What disease did the man have who came to Jesus to ask for healing?______________________________________________________________________

6. How many friends did the paralyzed man have?______________________________________________________________________

7. What authority did Jesus say that the Son of Man has?______________________________________________________________________

8.What was the name of Levi’s father?______________________________________________________________________

9.  What happens when you put new wine into old wineskins?______________________________________________________________________

10.  What was the name of the high priest in the house of God that Jesus mentions?______________________________________________________________________

Name:  ____________________________