What does it mean?
Rites of passage are vitally important in our lives, especially in our sense of who we are and how we are connected to others. In baptism we are fully connected to the promises of God. In the Rite of Confirmation, we affirm those promises and commit ourselves to living as a disciple of Christ as we move from childhood to adulthood.
How does it work?
Baptism is fully and completely a gift of God’s grace. We cannot accept it, or be worthy of it, or do anything more than receive it. Yet a gift is not something to put on a shelf, but rather to be unwrapped and enjoyed. And so we live out our faith in our family, in our church, in our service, and in our personal devotion. As we do that, we grow. Affirming our faith is proclaiming our desire to continue in this journey of faith as we become adults.
What’s the “program?”
Faith is a journey that has many entry points, and this church is committed to meeting people where they are and helping them discover the gift and depth of following Jesus. There is no specific “Confirmation class”, but core elements of our faith are part of our Wednesday and Sunday youth gatherings. the middle sunday is focused on our faith tradition, and the middle wednesday on living out our faith. Our high school SLY Sunday is focused on faith questions and conversations and SLY Wednesday on living out our faith. We also offer retreats for 6-12th grade, Summer Servant Trips for 9-12th grade, and Mentors along the way to enrich our gathering time. The Rite of Confirmation can happen as young people are ready, any time after the fall of their 10th grade year.
When does it happen?
Each year on Reformation Sunday (the last Sunday in October) any youth 10th grade and up, who have completed some basic requirements and express a desire to continue in their faith journey, will be invited to affirm their faith in the 11am worship.
Why the change?
Previously, Confirmation was a class from 7-9th grade and concluded with youth affirming their faith in the spring of their 9th grade year. That cookie cutter approach did not work for youth or families who came in new to the church or the faith in later middle or high school. It also did not work for those who were not ready to affirm their faith at 9th grade and had no option past that. This offers a more customized approach with various entry points, while still celebrating this rite as part of a wider faith and community.