This past Sunday, we had Confirmation Sunday, where six of our young adults affirmed their baptism promises and became members adult members of the church. It was a great event and I am proud of each on of our confirmands. I really enjoyed to see them learn more about their faith and how it interacted in their lives.
Confirmation has a interesting place in current church culutre. For many it is one of the last times we "have" to come to church. The sacramental check list is complete and now church can be left by the wayside. That is until some type of tradegy happens when people remember how their faith was suppose to help them in hard times like these. They may go back to their local church for guidance or support but many times they just walk away from their faith. It hasn't been helpful in their everyday lives, so why would they turn to it now? I think too many people see confirmation as an ending and not what it truly is which is a beginning. A beginning of a faith walk that takes you beyond your child like faith and allows you to explore you faith with the themes you will encounter in life such as relationships; how to deal with death; how to deal with disappointment; how to deal with abundant blessings; and how to deal with stress to name a few. Exploring these themes allows us to see how important our faith is and how it shapes what we say as well as what we do.
I wonder if confirmation would be less of an end point if we had things for people to do afterwards. How do we engage adults and young adults? Are the answer more classes? Is it thoughtful YouTube videos? How do you change the culture, so that confirmation is more of a transition like going from junior high to high school versus college graduation? I wish I had a lot of answers but I don't. I know what I would like to see, which is people engaging their faith more. The hard part is time and making it relevant to what is going on in their lives. So I will continue to brainstorm different ways in which to engage folks but I would really like to hear your ideas. What would help you grow in your faith more? What would you look forward to doing each week, or maybe each day?
Pastor Paul. I hope you find these reflections insightful and help you in your faith journey!