Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Confirmation Sunday

Six students were confirmed at church last Sunday. The readings for the day can be found here.

Our confirmation curriculum this year was focused on “Faith in Life.”
Since confirmation is about confirming the faith and the promises given to you in baptism, this theme is particularly relevant. Really, confirmation is preparing to be an adult, a grown-up, in the church. Confirmation--at this church, anyway--takes three years to focus on faith and what that really means for us. It’s intentional, guided time to learn about our faith. It's about taking on that faith and making it your own.
We do things in confirmation to get ready for this event. We learn the books and story of the Bible, understand the basic statements of faith—the creed, Lord’s Prayer, and 10 Commandments. We do active listening exercises in worship by taking sermon notes. We take a week during the summer and get to go to camp to experience the world that God created while we learn about our faith and one another.
And now we've arrived. This is the day when our confirmation students say—I’ve really taken the time to learn about my faith. I’ve worked with the church and met the expectations that were set for me, and now I’ve shown through my words and actions that I am ready to set my own expectations. There has been work to do, and there is still work to do. These students are saying I’m ready, I have taken the time to mature in my faith, and I am going to continue my life journey in the church.
After all, the main part of confirmation isn’t the “ation,” like graduation where you meet certain requirements and are done forever; it's the
On our last exam for this year, we asked the students what they felt God was calling them to do, and how they would stay connected to church after confirmation. I’d like to share these students’ answers with you now.
What do you feel God is calling you to do?
To behave and follow the rules and to be happy.
I feel God is calling me to help people and support them just like my family and God does for me.
God is calling me to be a nice person to all others. God wants me to contribute positively to the church and our communities.
How will you stay connected to church after your confirmation?
I plan to join a music choir of some sort. I also plan to go on a mission trip.
I will stay connected to the church after confirmation by going to church and volunteering.
I will still come to church and pray, and I will obey all God’s rules.
It's a pretty big thing to be able to articulate a sense of call and plan for future faith at the time of confirmation. Hopefully, these plans and callings will strengthen and grow as our students move through this milestone today.
In closing, we hear again the words of promise spoken by Jesus in today’s gospel lesson:

“…the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all I have said to you.” Jesus has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us, the community of faith to strengthen us, and his own words to teach us.
To our confirmation students, congratulations on this day as you confirm that the path you are taking is the path of faith. As we learned this year, there will be ups and downs, but God will be walking with you through it all. Blessings to you as you take this next step of your faith journey. Amen.

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