First United Methodist Church
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Confirmation Letter Below:
In the United Methodist tradition, Confirmation is that time when those who have been baptized are old enough, and have been educated in the faith enough, to choose Christ for themselves, and make their personal profession of faith before the congregation. A large part of that education is the responsibility of the parents who have presented their child/children for baptism and takes place within the home. An equally large part of that education takes place within the context of the faith community. In fact, that is one of the primary reasons that churches have Sunday Schools and other programs of Christian education and youth ministry. Our church makes having such programs a priority for precisely that reason - it is our responsibility to do so. Our Education Committee is committed to providing the tools necessary for equipping youth to make decisions for Christ. This is not intended to take the place of the ministry of families within the home, rather, it is intended to supplement it.
Because our church has made a commitment to our children and youth to walk the faith journey with them, we believe it is important to offer Confirmation classes periodically. The 2013-14 program year, which begins in September, will see the offering of a Confirmation class, which is the prerequisite for being confirmed through this community of faith. This year, Confirmation classes will be offered, beginning in September, for all youth in Grade 7 and above or who have reached the age of 13. Classes will meet twice per month on Sunday afternoons from 4-6, beginning with a Parent/Confirmand meeting with the leadership on Sunday afternoon, September 15th, at 4pm. This initial meeting will take place in the Chapel. All interested are invited and encouraged to attend. The actual Confirmation Celebration will take place in September of 2014.
Some highlights of the program and its requirements include:
-A full year of active preparation emphasizing faith
development, decision-making, and community-
-Opportunities to work with a one-on-one mentor.
-Field trips to UM sites.
-Overnight retreats and mission opportunities.
-Opportunities to work with, and learn from, church staff, clergy, and lay leadership.
-Candy, games, and lots of fun!
I share all this with you as this month's Messenger article because I believe Confirmation is important to all of us, not just to those individuals and families who commit to the program. It is a responsibility we pledge to uphold every time a child is baptized here. As a result, this message is not just invitational to those who will go through this experience, it is invitational to the entire congregation.
What can you do to help? Consider saying "yes" if and when you are asked to be a mentor for one of the awesome youth we have in our congregation. It is a big commitment involving pre-training and participation throughout the program. Mentors can be any age, but must have a strong faith and be members of the church. Speak to me for more details. Consider being a volunteer who will periodically provide food, candy, or transportation for participants. Think about helping out with games leadership or other forms of entertainment once in a while. We want to have FUN! And, of course, make a commitment, in writing, to pray for the confirmands, leadership, and mentors on a regular basis, that way we will know who and when, and if you are willing to say why, that would be incredible to know, too.
I am looking forward to getting started with Confirmation 2013-14! I hope you are as well.
Peace and love,Jeff