Dear Members and Friends,
It’s fashionable to call things “a journey.” Your education, your closest relationships, your career, your personal faith—all of these are described as a journey, perhaps because they’re always changing and growing. At some point, I’ve even spoken about “the confirmation journey” in reference to our biennial confirmation class. I use that language mostly out of habit, but in 2020, confirmation actually felt like a bit of an expedition. Confirmation Sunday was originally scheduled for March 29, the week before Palm Sunday. The service was supposed to be led by the students, two of whom even volunteered to preach! Confirmation Sunday took place instead on October 18, and no one preached but the usual guy. In September 2019, we began meeting in the church conference room with donuts and coffee each week. We ended, thirteen months later, meeting in the brick courtyard just outside the narthex, wearing masks and shivering in the autumn chill. We started with ten kids and finished with seven; one dropped out, and two chose not to confirm—which is a decision we respect. We had a talkative group this year, and they did a lot of good thinking about God, faith, the Scriptures, and life in general. Confirmation means that a child is adopting the faith into which he or she was baptized, making a personal profession of faith. For that reason, we ask students to write a personal statement of faith at the end of the class. With each child’s permission, those statements are included as an attachment to this newsletter. Of course, faith is a journey, and confirmation is an important landmark along the way, but not the final destination. Like all living things, faith changes and grows. Although these personal statements will end up in their new membership files in the church office, the faith in the hearts of these young people will never quit evolving, maturing, gaining new insights, and yes, perhaps at times abandoning old ones. As members of this congregation, you and I are called to walk alongside them on the journey of life and discipleship. Thank you for your part in making this the kind of church that a fifteen-year-old would join!
In Christ’s Peace