Teaching today’s young people about a confessional document that was written almost 450 years ago can be a challenge. So Diana Vanderleest and Wilma Pol, members of La Glace (Alberta) Christian Reformed Church, decided to use their scrapbooking hobby to help students engage with the Heidelberg Catechism in a fun and relevant way.
Students work on their Heidelberg Catechism scrapbooks.
Last season the catechism class studied the Lord’s Prayer. “It is important during the teenage years to learn more about prayer,” said Vanderleest. “We use strictly the questions and answers and the corresponding Bible verses. We set up our class time in such a way that one week we read a part of the catechism with the corresponding Bible verses and discuss them, and the following week we do our artwork.”
“There are really no set rules to scrapbooking,” she explained. “Students may use scrapbook paper, stencils and stickers, other art supplies, and anything else they want to use. The artwork is all very personal; it depicts what they get out of that particular lesson and what it means for their individual lives.”
Vanderleest, who has been scrapbooking for 20 years, lends her tools, paper, and ink, and a couple of women from the congregation donated scrapbooking supplies.
Michelle Wathen, 14, enjoys this way of learning. “I enjoy doing the catechism by scrapbooking because I find it more personal. I can pick the Bible verses that mean something to me and that I can relate to, and then design a page any way I want that I will remember,” she said.
Her sister, Sandra, age 16, concurred. “I like scrapbooking for catechism because you can use the pictures of your life to help you understand what [the catechism] is teaching you, and you will always have that scrapbook to look back to.”
It looks like the young people of La Glace CRC will be scrapbooking the Heidelberg Catechism for some time to come. “We took a vote in class at the end of the year to decide what we wanted to study next season. It was unanimous that we are going to study the Ten Commandments. It will probably take us two seasons,” Vanderleest said.