Tuesday, April 27, 2010

End Days of Confirmation

I have Confirmation on the brain for many reasons. Spring has come, which makes some of us think of Love, and some of us fear tornadoes, and some of us think of Confirmation.

In my own Confirmation process, Confirmation was the end destination. We were drilled on the Creeds and the Catechisms. We had one individual conference with the pastor that Saturday night before Confirmation, the thought being that if we had last-minute concerns, we could talk about them. I knew that my whole family had arrived for my Confirmation, so I certainly wasn't going to talk about my doubts then.

What a shame that it couldn't have been different. If I was in charge, I'd use the end days of Confirmation as a good teaching moment for the Confirmands, as we're expecting them to enter into full adult membership. How are these decisions about worship made? How do we balance the feelings of all of our parishioners? How do we decide what's best? What are Council issues and what are issues that don't need Council consideration?

This discussion could blossom into a discussion about our mission in terms of worship and in terms of other ministries, and then I'd hope that we'd encourage the Confirmands to choose an area of mission that calls to them.

We know that many people finish Confirmation and don't come to church regularly again until they have children of their own, if indeed they come back then. Maybe approaching the end of Confirmation differently could change this statistic.

Our church has moved to reserving 2 Council seats for people under the age of 21. That's a great start. But it might not be enough.

We're confirming our youth on Pentecost, a time for new visions spoken in a new language. I'd love for the Church to move towards encouraging our youth to dream those visions and to feel encouraged to articulate them. Youth are often less impeded by knowledge of church as it has always been. Youth are often more likely to have a church-that-could-be vision. How can we harness that energy more fully?

No comments: