When many of us think back at our time as youth in the Lutheran Church, we may conjure up a memory or two about our time in Confirmation. These could be happy memories of summer retreats and camps, memorizing bible verses and the Apostles’ Creed in church basements, or in my case- shaving the head of my pastor. Either way, Confirmation has come to be an important milestone in the life of our church youth.
The tradition of Confirmation has been around for much of our Lutheran history, and many of us may have wondered “what is the point?” As a lover of tradition, church history, and youth ministry, I love to answer this question! I would say it’s important to note that the Rite of Confirmation ceremony is also referred to as the Affirmation of Baptism. After we have been welcomed into the body of Christ, oftentimes as babies, this is an opportunity to affirm those things that our parents and sponsors promised during our baptisms, but this time for ourselves.
We spend our classroom and education time not only teaching our youth, “… to live among God’s faithful people, to hear the word of God, share in the Lord’s supper, the Lord’s Prayer, the creed, and the Ten Commandments.” But we also strive to focus much of our time together on the second half of the promises their parents made, “so that they may learn to trust God, proclaim Christ through word and deed, care for others and the world God made, and work for justice and peace.” We answer beautiful, deep and profound questions of faith, the character of God, and of Jesus, and how to be a believer in the current times and atmosphere. Through mentorship, classes, retreats, service work, and worship participation, we hope to engage the faith of the youth in a way that will be impactful and long lasting. We also welcome these newly confirmed peoples to be full participants in the democratic side of our denomination, making them full voting members, as well as eligible to hold various positions on any of our councils and committees.
Here at Christ the King, we view Confirmation as a step in the journey of faith. We look to partner with families as we continue to empower our youth to experience their faith in new and relevant ways in our ever changing society. We would have celebrated this milestone this Sunday in our church, congratulating a class of 9th grade students who have worked diligently over the last few years to achieve this milestone. As we are not meeting during these uncertain times there is a sadness in having to wait to engage in celebration on this accomplishment. Yet, we look forward to the time when we will be together again. We will congratulate these young people on their dedication to their faith and welcome them in a new form into our diverse and loving body of Christ, as they join their Christian brothers and sisters around the world, and especially here at Christ the King.
Until we are together again, peace and blessings.
In His love,
Director of Youth and Family Faith Formation