(re) post: confirmation sunday

confirmation sunday is this week at my church, my most favorite sunday of the year. in anticipation, i thought i would (re) post my confirmation observations from last year. hope you enjoy! and congratulations to the confirmands in your church!

confirmation, i think, is one of the greatest things we’ve got going in our church for the spiritual formation of children and students.

for the entire school year, the 8th graders of our church spend their sunday mornings in confirmation class learning about their faith, their church, and the history that surrounds their faith and church. then on a sunday morning in may, they stand up in the front of the church, before their entire faith community, their family, their friends, their pastors, and their shepherds – and commit to following jesus the very best they can, and to build his church with their skills and passions. it’s fantastic.

there is a part at the very end of the worship service that always makes me emotional. near the end, all of the confirmands stand in the front of the church in a circle as the pastors, family, friends and confirmation shepherds gather around them and pray for them. it’s a beautiful picture of the church and home working together, partnering closely for the sake of the child. last year, my husband served as a confirmation shepherd to the coolest 8th grader in the bunch. i was extremely emotional as i watched him pray over the student – i felt so much pride for my husband and the way he continues to use his gifts to invest in students. but this year – my husband and i watched from the balcony – and it was just as emotional. young 14 year old students committing themselves to following jesus and his church.

i love what confirmation communicates to both students and adults at our church – you as a 14 year old are crucial to our faith community. god leads you, and gifts you – and we need you to contribute to our community. in her book postmodern children’s ministry ivy beckwith quotes horace bushnell by writing:

“my argument is to establish that the child is to grow up a christian and never know himself as being otherwise.”

i love this – and i believe the ritual of confirmation affirms faith in students, as they continue to build on the foundation from childhood and move into a mature life of faith.

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