Photos of our meaningful Confirmation Sunday service can be found here.
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In January, twelve young men and women who attend Fountain City UMC began the journey known as Confirmation. Confirmation is an important faith tradition in the United Methodist Church, one steeped in our belief in God’s prevenient grace, in His open invitation into His Church, and in our identity and purpose as followers of Jesus Christ.
For the next four months, these sixth graders spent their Sunday mornings learning more about who Jesus was, how Jesus lived, and what Jesus asked of His followers, culminating in a retreat filled with heartfelt messages, meaningful ceremony, and laser tag.
On Sunday, April 2, surrounded by friends and family that planted those first tender seeds of faith, these twelve students stood before our church body and professed their decision to continue this journey; individually, and as the newest members of our congregation. And our congregation welcomed them into the family.
It’s a symbolic tradition in our Wesleyan ways, this ceremonial service that calls our Confirmands to remember their baptism, to believe in the work God started in each of us, and to trust He has great plans for us. It’s a raising up of the next generation of believers and doers, held up by a great cloud of witnesses a few steps further in this faith.
I (Communications staffer and password-holder of this website) had the privilege of being a Confirmation teacher and mentor to these whip-smart, naturally curious, respectful and witty bunch, a role that felt both humbling and huge with responsibility. There’s a tension between wanting desperately to woo these students to Jesus, yet understanding that following Him is a lifelong decision that can be difficult and uncertain. (Plus, I’ve just never been cool around middle school girls.)
And that, I suppose, is the message we mentors really tried to impress. That Confirmation is not so much a checkbox on the How to Be a Good Methodist list but a process our young adults journey through in order to see Jesus a little clearer and closer, to understand a little better how deeply interested in and smitten by us God is, and to decide, on Confirmation Sunday and each day after that, whether this Jesus is worth the follow.
And that – I suppose – is the message I’ve been trying to learn my whole life too.