Confirmation Ministry at First Lutheran is our way of supporting parents in the promises they made when their children were baptized. Confirmation involves youth in 7th and 8th grade. The milestone of "Affirmation of Baptism" takes place in October of the 9th grade year. This ministry includes education, team building, fun and experiencing what it means to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. It is an itentional time for developing relationships, deepening faith and learning more about what it means to be a Lutheran Christian.
In order to use this time to the fullest, Confirmation Ministry utilizes several outlets. The bulk of the "instruction time" takes place during Sunday School. We use a curriculum, Collaborate (co/lab/orate), which is designed to bring students together in a collaborative fashion to discover for themselves the ways the doctrines, traditions and beliefs of the Lutheran faith are relevant to their lives. Creating a learning environment where questions are posed and hypotheses are tested (lab), each lesson focuses on collaboration (co) and encourages students to verbalize (orate) their thoughts and reactions to the theme and question of the day. The 7th grade year is spent studying the Old and New Testament where 8th grade explores the Catechism and Lutheran Living.
In addition, students participate in "Small Groups" - learning sessions each Wednesday during Advent and Lent. These small groups are designed to help students develop deeper relationships with one another, spend time with an adult mentor and connect with the scriptures through meaningful conversations.
Rounding out this ministry, all middle school youth participate in monthly fellowship, service or learning opportunities. Through all of this, the ultimate goal of this ministry is to nurture, educate and prepare disciples to work in God's kingdom today and throughout their future.
Confirmation Class of 2016
When I was younger, I thought that grace was just a name, but I started to realize that Grace is a word to describe God, that grace is a word used to explain that God is kind, God is good, that God is amazing and we are his children no matter what we do or say. One of my favorite verses to read is, “But he said to me ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ So I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and clamaities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am week, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. If you think that your weaknesses are what make you strong, you can just smile and remember that God is with you and he will guide you whenever and wherever you go. I used to think that God only listened to me when I needed Him, but God is there even when I don’t know that he is there. God will be there, even when I don’t think that others are.
I believe that God is always there for us. That He helps us through the tough times and through the best. If I were to describe Him in a couple of words, I would say that He is loving, loyal, and mighty. To know that God loves me is like being wrapped up in a warm, fuzzy blanket that’s always there. To know that God always forgives me leaves me in awe. It’s amazing how God still loves us, even after all of our sins and disloyalty. I’ve seen God at work many times during my life. I’ve also experienced God’s work in my life. For example, after I went on a mission trip, I felt so much happier after serving others. I felt connected to God in ways I never had before. I believe prayer is very important. It’s a way to connect with God and let Him in. Although I have doubts, I still believe in God.
Sometimes, I believe God is almost too much to be able to understand. I do know for sure that God is always with me, it is a loving and compassionate vibe that I carry with me. I feel God’s forgiveness, and somehow, as long as I have God, I feel everything will always work itself out. I believe I definitely have plenty of room to grow in my faith. Just like anything else, there is always room to grow. My baptism was a time in my life when my parents decided they wanted their daughter to have the love of Christ with her. I am incredibly grateful for this deed, as I wouldn’t be who I am today without my parents’ faith. But, I feel there is a greater significance to my Confirmation. This is no longer my parents’ faith, it is about mine.I am excited to take my place as a member of the church, and cannot wait to see what future God has in mind for me.
My faith helps me to be the best person I can be by teaching me to do community service, be humble, and just be nice to everyone no matter who they are or what they do. A verse that really hits home about this is Romans 12:16, “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” Faith is not something that I take for granted. It’s not about worshipping God every minute of every day, it’s about who I am as a person, and having God do His work through my hands. For me faith has really made me a better person. The more I listen to the Gospels, the more I learn about being a better person. My faith has taught me that I should be nice to everyone I meet and that it is very important to give back to the people that have supported me through community service.
I have struggled in my faith journey a bit. Sometimes I have doubts. Sometimes I have questioned if there actually is a God. I have also wondered if there actually is something that comes after death. I’ve overcome the urge to give up my faith. I understand that someone is always there for me, and I acknowledge that it is God. I can remain strong in my faith by praying and going to church. I believe that prayer is an extremely important part of faith. I see prayer as one of the main ways that we can speak directly to God. Praying to God, silently in my head, makes me feel safe. I feel like I can help my faith grow by praying more and being more in-touch with God. I also feel that my faith can grow by helping more people. Being a Christian has made a huge difference in my life. It has definitely made me a better person.
I believe that God is the overseer of life and He has a plan for everyone and everything. If I were to describe God in a sentence, I would say He is a loving and caring Father to everyone and He has a plan for everyone and everything. What can I do to help my faith grow? Something I could do is be more present in the church. I could do this by volunteering in worship services once in a while, being the greeter and folding the bulletins before church, or maybe even running for church council once I get older, but it doesn’t just have to be something to do with church. I think it could be as simple as being nice and friendly to anyone. Doing things such as holding a door for someone, helping someone carry something, or even something as simple as saying hello could very well make somebody’s day. I believe that God controls and has a place for everyone. He loves and protects all of us and forgives our sins.
As a Christian, I promise to do my best to be a good person. It is my goal to be kind to everyone through God. I will speak with God through prayer as well as my actions. I promise to live as a child of Christ and become who God intends for me to be. Being a Christian has made a difference in my life by giving me the opportunity to make friends of people I otherwise wouldn't have known. I have been exposed to a welcoming and loving community. I have God to talk to when and if I have ever have troubles. And I have something that hopefully won't change but will be a solid part of my character forever. I believe I was put on Earth for a reason – that I was meant to spread the news of God. I plan to continue my faith journey by continuing to come to church and talking to God. I believe that God has chosen me and all of us Christians to show just how good He really is.