Confirmation is a PASTORAL and EDUCATIONAL ministry of the church which helps the youth, through WORD and SACRAMENT, identify more deeply with the Christian community and participate more fully in its mission.
It is part of a life-long journey of faith that begins at baptism. It is one that is filled with new questions and answers, new discoveries, new relationships, and new responsibilities. It is a time when parents, sponsors, teachers and pastors join together to prepare young people for making an affirmation of the Christian faith into which they were baptized.
When a child is baptized, the parents make promises to “faithfully bring the child to the services of God’s house, and teach them the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, and the Ten Commandments.” Confirmation is one of those stepping stones of faith where the church can assist the parents to fulfill these baptismal promises for their child.
The ingredients of this preparation include Sunday Worship, Sunday School, summer camps, retreats, fellowship events, service projects and family devotions. Confirmation also includes a period of learning taught by the pastor and others on Wednesday evenings. It’s important for young people to remember that this preparation is for THEM so they can make THEIR affirmation of faith as they move more deeply into the faith and mission of the church.
The Rite of Affirmation of Baptism (Confirmation) is not something the church does TO us! It is a unique time in our life-long spiritual journey when we can affirm our commitment to Christ and to celebrate and publicly proclaim our “YES” to the faith into which we were baptized.
Confirmation Ministry — The Ingredients
It is essential that parents and young people along with their families participate in weekly worship. It is also important that the young person participate actively once a month in worship. This may include serving as acolyte, as usher, as musician, as choir member, etc.
The overall curriculum from pre-school through high school is designed to cover all aspects of Christian life and faith in a way that reinforces learning at each subsequent phase. Young people in grades 6-8 will experience biblically-based studies of contemporary life and faith issues, as well as a deeper understanding of Lutheran teaching and congregational life.
Summer Camping Program: Camping ministry offers an excellent opportunity for young people to experience faith in a unique outdoor environment. Each summer our confirmands who have completed grades 6, 7 and 8 will attend Confirmation Camp as a group for one week at Camp Lutherwood. Registration may be done on line. Saint Mark has paid for two thirds of the camping fee. Additional camperships are available if needed! Finances should never be a reason not to send your child to camp. Just talk to Pastor Charles.
If you’ll note the schedule you will see that confirmation instruction will happen generally on first, third and fifth Wednesdays of the month. This will include time for small groups led by “guides.” A guide is someone who loves God, likes kids and who is willing to be involved with two to six youth. Parents…consider the guide thing this year! You will be blessed!
Fellowship and Service
The confirmation program will include Fellowship or Servant projects generally on the second Wednesday of the month. According to the small group this may not always happen on a Wednesday night. No activity is generally held on the fourth Wednesday of the month. This is a time for the guides to get together in a “huddle” to share their joys and concerns with one another.
The ultimate responsibility for the students’ participation and growth lies with parents. Parents MUST help in the teaching and learning process at home. Remember that the promise you took as you brought your child for Baptism included providing for their instruction in the faith. Let this be a time for your own nurture and growth in faith as well as for your child.
We look forward to a great year in our confirmation ministry program!