If you’ve been following the newsletter and/or Weekly Messenger, you know that last week our nine confirmands presented their confirmation projects. Those members who attended were very pleased to be there, but many who wanted to were unable, so I thought I’d write a little overview of that special evening.
All nine of the students really came through. This is the first year we have done projects, so they had no models – they were the guinea pigs! The assignment was to come up with a presentation about 4-5 minutes long in which they talked about where they are in their faith journey, having come to the end of their time in confirmation. I encouraged them to be creative, to use their hobbies or interests as a vehicle for describing their faith (for example, a youth interested in photography might choose to do a photography project in which they took pictures that reminded them of the different parts of the catechism, or particular Bible stories). The idea was to express themselves and their life of faith in whatever way made sense to them.
Most of the kids took the straightforward approach of simply telling the story of their faith, starting with their baptism. Many included pictures from this event, as well as from their confirmation (often with the same people present!). They talked about their favorite parts of the Bible, what they had learned about God, and what from their time in confirmation they appreciated, and what they will carry on with them into high school, college, and the rest of their lives. It was very heartening to hear that some of the things we talked about have really stuck with them in a meaningful way – such as that God is ever-forgiving, and different ways we can pray and talk to God. One confirmand, who is an athlete several times over, chose to find various passages in the Bible that speak to sports or use sports analogies, and talk about what he had learned about being a good athlete from these parts of the Bible. (He even found several that I was not familiar with!) Another made an acrostic out of the word “Confirmation,” highlighting one word or concept for each letter that had something to do with what we had learned together. Some included pictures of themselves serving in church somehow, and printed off texts we had studied that were important to them. A couple wrote moving essays about how their understanding of God and the church and their place in the church had changed for the better, and how eager they are to continue to be involved in the life of the church.
All in all, their teachers and parents and mentors were beaming with pride for their willingness to stand in front of a group of people and talk about their faith! We could all take a lesson from them and do such thoughtful reflection on our faith, and be so willing to share that reflection with others.
Thank you to all of our young confirmands, and to their families and mentors for supporting them and praying for them through these years. We are so grateful to have you among us!