So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Romans 12:2- The Message
I was in 6th grade, probably 12 yrs. old or so, when I went through it.
I grew up the United Methodist Church. Ever since I can remember, I was either a willing participant or, on some Sundays, I was a cranky, strong willed, unruly child whose parents forced him out of bed that morning to go listen to someone talk to him about God and Jesus and all that church stuff.
I remember the church nursery age. My mom would drop me off and the cool door that only opened on the top half. I got to play, have fun, and run around on the playground.
I remember children’s Sunday school. It was no longer play and run around outside time. I had to sit in a chair, a cold, wooden, hard, brown chair around a rectangle table and listen to a mother of one of my peers tell stories of Jesus, that in some way I was supposed to understand and, on top of that, believe.
I remember my tween years, even though they weren’t called that then; the years from 4-6th grade. Whoa, I thought children’s Sunday school was bad, now I had to read out loud, from the Bible, in front of others. I had to follow along; I even had to sit in a bigger, more uncomfortable, folding chair on top of it all.
Church was not what I wanted to spend my Sunday mornings going to. It had become so routine, so mundane, so disconnected from what I thought was fun. Don’t get me wrong, there were fun time’s through-out the years, but more so I remember just being bored and wanting to go home. However, if I was to behave during the children’s message, I had a chance to get to go out to eat at a real restaurant, something that was a real treat when I was a kid.
These are my earliest memories of church.
Then 6th grade hit, suddenly I was hearing words like “Confirmation.” What was that? I had never heard of it.
What did it mean? Did I get to go somewhere? Was it “fun”?
I didn’t know a lot about Confirmation when I entered the class. In fact, to be frank, I didn’t know a lot about Confirmation when I left the class. I remember the room. I remember my mentor. I remember, and still have, the stole I received on Confirmation Sunday. But I don’t remember what we talked about. I don’t remember learning about the Holy Spirit. I don’t remember much about really anything. It was boring, uninviting, cold, and hard to understand.
(Side note: This is NOT the way to teach and inspire children and youth)
This year St. Paul’s UMC will be offering a Confirmation Class. This is the first year, in some time, that our church will be offering Confirmation.
Confirmation is more than a class. It is an important part of ones journey of faith, and an important time in the life of the church. It is the time when one takes ownership of his/her faith and decides if they are ready to make a public commitment to love God, follow Christ, participate in the life of the church, and join in God’s missional work in the world.
We intend for Confirmation to be fun, interactive, with a time of sharing, and a time of reflection, to see what God can do, is doing, and will continue to do throughout our discipleship journey.
I invite all parents who have youth, grades 6th -12th, to discuss the journey of discipleship with your youth, talk about Confirmation, and discuss the deep questions about faith, God, and church. Then, if your youth is ready, register your youth for our 2019 Confirmation class.
For more information or to receive a Confirmation packet for registration, contact myself in the church office at 405-273-0982 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to taking this step of faith with our youth, hoping to create a lifetime of discipleship.
Tim Boyer, Director of Student Ministries