Initial Thoughts on TDP and schools

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.


3 thoughts on “Initial Thoughts on TDP and schools

  1. You also have to deal with the readings over summer. Students with families that do not do daily prayer at home would miss a portion of Scripture each year and never receive it even if they attended school for 9 years.

  2. More mulling… You would only be trading your Bible for the TDP. Most people do not know the tunes of hymns just by number. Many may not even recognize what the hymn is right away because some daily entries are not the first verse.

    From a classroom/student perspective, you would totally lose the children learning the hymns and Psalms by heart. Yes, the fast learners learn them by Wednesday but many need all week singing/chanting them three times a day at school and hopefully at home once to learn them. Just doing the hymn of the week on Mondays, even after practicing it on Friday, can often still be dreadful. With doing a different hymn each day, the students would never have time to learn how to pronounce the words or learn the tune. If your school is using classical ed tenets, remember repetition, repetition, repetition.

    You would lose having to figure out the readings each week; however, you still need the sheet for the catechism assignment and the complementary verse of the week.

  3. Yes I don’t think it would eliminate everything. I think you would have to continue with the hymn of the week, bible verse and catechisim. Plus, remember that the daily lectionary goes through the weekend. I think what you would lose would be the consistent continuity of the readings, because you would miss so often. But there are a lot of other benefits that may outweigh that.

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