I am been praying the TDP for a couple weeks now. There are many others (see Stuckwisch & Weedon & Lehmann & Petersen in particular) who have posted and lauded its ease of use, all-in-one nature, and the like. In my congregation we have sold I think fifteen copies thus far, and I expect that number will go up as we get closer to Christmas. What I am currently considering and reflecting upon is it’s potential use for Lutheran schools.
My congregation jointly operates a Lutheran dayschool called Chrsit Lutheran Academy. It is a wonderful school. We have chapel every day, with learn-by-heart of the catechism, hymn and bible verse each week. When I get tired or frustrated, all I have to do is think of the faith that these children are having instilled into them each day, and it gives me joy.
A part of our world is that we use Pr. Peter Bender’s Lutheran Catechesis. There are many elements of it which I like very much, especially the daily emphasis on the Word of God and the catechism.
One of the challenges that Bender’s approach gives is the daily prayer life of the congregation. Each year you create a schedule with daily readings, and weekly bible verse, catechism and hymn verses. This is good. But then the schedule itself is on a sheet of paper each week, to be handed out. It’s not in any book. It also means, practically speaking, that parishoners are going to have to juggle 2-3 different books in their daily prayers in their families. Some are willing to do this. Most are not willing to do this. So it creates a disparity between the prayer life of the school and the prayer life of the congregation’s families (be they school or not school).
That’s where the TDP may come in.
What I am looking at is taking portions of the TDP and using them for chapel each day. I don’t envision each child having a TDP. Practically speaking, they’re simply too big for k-2 graders to hold and handle comfortably. But the older kids might, and the teachers certainly would.
As I see it, here are the challenges:
1. Length. The readings, esp. the OT readings, are long. Let’s say you use a two year cycle with the readings. WHen you are in the OT year, you are going to have to either have really long readings, or you will have to cut down on the length of the readings. I’m concered about it.
2. Readers vs. non-readers. A part of what we do to engage the non-reading and the learning is that we have a hymn and a psalm for the week. By Wednesday many of the kids have them memorized, whether they can read or not. So Im concerned with going to a daily hymn or psalm as compared to the weekly.
3. Divine Service. On Wednesdays we have the Divine Service. It’s strikes me as fairly odd to use the daily lectionary readings for the divine service. But it makes no sense to use the DS readings in chapel and then use the daily lectionary readings the rest of the day. Less is more.
Those are my initial concerns. I welcome any thoughts or critiques, especially from those who have schools themselves.