In our tradition, we baptize infants on the promise of God’s love. And in the baptismal ceremony, parents’ promise to raise their children so that they might know God through Jesus Christ.
In due season, those baptized children, growing up, take over the promises of faith for themselves, thus beginning their own adult, spiritual lives. We call this “Confirmation,” a young adult’s confirming the promises one’s parents made and confirming one’s own faith.
It also marks the religious rite of passage into adulthood– sort of the Christian equivalent of a bar or bat mitzvah! (Remember church: after Confirmation, though a person might still be young, s/he is according to our ritual and tradition in church equal standing with all the other adults.)
Just as we offer a New Members’ Class before people join our faith community… so they will have the resources to really make their church home among us, so too we offer a Confirmation Class for young people about to join our faith community on their own… so they will have resources not only to find their adult place among us, but also that they might develop a faith to last them a lifetime.
This year we will have a confirmation class. Why? Because we believe that we have a group of young people who are mature enough to prepare for taking their faith on themselves. Usually, Old First confirms young people about middle school age. And it usually lasts a whole school year.
We are looking to get Confirmation Class started in the fall, and thinking that those who complete the preparation will be confirmed on Pentecost ’12.
Annemarie, our Christian Education Director, and Michael have spoken. They want to build this year’s Confirmation Class on the success of the recent past’s classes– where confirmands were paired one on one with mentors to cover parts of the curriculum. They will also meet regularly as a group with Michael. Michael hopes that we can also include some “field trips” — it would be good for confirmands to visit some different churches, see some different incarnations of the faith they are preparing to take on. As well, it might be helpful to visit some other faith communities along the way as well.
With the variety of schedules and with how booked our kids are often these days, Annemarie and Michael are thinking about scheduling the Confirmation Class during the Sunday School hour– it could be in effect Sunday School this year for the young people preparing to be confirmed.
Michael is asking all the families, confirmation age youth and their parents, to join him at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 18 in his office. There we will work out the details of the confirmation class. Michael will also ask the young people to choose mentors who can be with them on this year’s journey.
If you know of a young person who would like to get confirmed. Or if you have concerns or suggestions about the class or its scheduling, please speak with Annemarie or Michael as soon as possible.