Don’t wait for Confirmation class!

Last Sunday we celebrated Confirmation Sunday, the unique worship service where a milestone is reached – our youth affirm the faith of the church as their own!

a youth gets confirmed
Pastors & parents place their hands on a kneeling youth as she is confirmed.


Nineteen youth became professing members. Among their assertions…

They said, I do to:

  • a rejection of all evil,
  • regret for their sin,
  • confession of Jesus Christ as their Savior.

And I will to:

  • serving as Christ’s representative in the world,
  • and faithfully participating in the ministries of the church.

How did they get to this milestone in their faith journey?

How did they come to this powerful, public pronouncement?


Was it the spent weeks in Confirmation class, learning everything there is to know about the Christian faith.

Well, I’m hoping that we didn’t pin all of our hopes on a few months of classes! Or even a few years of Sunday school. It takes more than that.

Their faith will stick won’t it?

Well we can’t be sure. It is between God and each individual, but you can up the odds.

Don’t do like I did. Don’t leave the religious teaching to the “experts” at church. Don’t be hampered by your own lack of understanding (who am I to teach??) Don’t wait for Confirmation class to start the journey.

Here are a few basic examples of what you can do for your kids now:
Their age (roughly) Your words Your actions
Birth “God loves you” Your care provides a foundation for trust in God.
Toddler “God created all things” Point out all of God’s creation all around them.
Preschooler “The Bible tells us about God and his son, Jesus Christ.” Read Bible stories at home.
“We can talk to God whenever we want and he will listen.” Model and teach about prayer.
And the list goes on…

Don’t wait for Confirmation class!


Photo credits:
Photo from Confirmation Sunday from my archives.

A milestone!

Kindergarteners with their new Bibles
Kindergarteners with their new Bibles/devotional books

These kids (and a few that were missing) passed a milestone on Sunday. Since many are starting to become readers, they received a gift from FUMC. Ahead of time they chose a Bible storybook, or a book of devotions. They also previewed (via a tour!) what Cool Disciples would be like when they become 1st graders. Here are a few notable differences about being “upstairs” kids:

  • They will be rotating!
    (This is, after all, called the Workshop Rotation Model™, which you can learn more about here.) While in Kindergarten, the workshops came to the kids. As 1st graders they’ll be visiting the workshops – physically moving – to a different workshop each week.
  • How do we figure out where they go?
    Check out the Children’s Ministries page in the bulletin. Or ahead of time at home (or from your smartphone on your way to church – not the driver of course!) you can check out the schedule post.
  • After the children’s moment in church, there is a large mob of kids – how does my 1st grader survive?
    We’ve got a system. The first grade Shepherd with the bannerFirst graders are big kids, but the older kids can look bigger! To help out with this, the 1st graders gather in the hallway outside of the Sanctuary. This allows all of the older kids to run excitedly walk ahead to their workshops. A volunteer Shepherd greets the 1st graders outside of the Sanctuary. (Look for the person holding the orange 1st grade banner.) After the older kids have disbursed, the first grade goes as a group to their workshop.
    On the first few weeks next fall, you may want to help your child find the banner and say goodbye in the hall; then once they are familiar with the process, you can let them leave the Sanctuary by themselves.
  • Do I need to sign them in and out?
    Nope. 1st and 2nd graders will wait after class with an adult in their workshop, for pick-up by a parental unit. (3rd grade and up are dismissed to meet their families.) When you pick up your child do at least make eye contact with your child’s Shepherd!
  • What is a Shepherd (and how else can I get involved in this great program?
    Glad you asked! Shepherds rotate with a class. They get to know the kids and help out as directed by the Workshop Leader (by taking attendance, forming groups of kids for a game, or assigning roles to puppeteers). Ideally Shepherds would serve twice a month from Sept. through May. There are many other ways to get involved. Email Beth Pascoe to ask more questions!

Oh, there is one more change… something that you as parents/caregivers have complete control of… (perhaps you’ve already implemented this?)

Continue the faith dialogue at home.

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Photo credits:
Photos are from my archives.

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The word is love.

Every fall our church has a tradition: the third graders all get their own Bible. The presentation happens in the worship service, during the “Children’s Moment” so that all of the other kids get to see what’s happening.

3rd graders receive Bibles
3rd graders & their parents, in the worship service, in a moment of prayer
3rd graders are excited to receive Bibles
Look at how excited they are!

The new Bibles are wrapped in bright gift paper Bible bookmark made from layers of wrapping– because they are a gift from the church. But that is only the top layer of paper! The first of five layers! After the presentation in church, the children gather together with their parents for a special class about their new Bible. They are told that each layer of paper has a special meaning and to unwrap one layer at a time. In the past some students have saved a piece of each layer and created a bookmark.

So some students unwrap carefully…

carefully unwrapping her Bible

And some unwrap with abandon…

unwrapping with gusto
what layer is next? Ah-ha! The Bible!
I wonder what layer is next? At last! Finally! The Bible!

In part of this special class, students learn that the Bible is like a library — it has 66 books! That’s a lot of stories. They also learn that the entire message of the Bible can be summarized in one word:


God loves you and cares about you. The Bible is God’s love letter to each of you! Take our current Rotation on Jacob and Esau… what is it about?

Even when we screw up, God still loves us anyway!

Time for a class photo…

3rd graders of 2012
Class of 2022!

May God’s words of love transform you!

Photo credits:
All images from my archives.

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Never too young

This weekend, youth in the Confirmation class will be joining as full members of our church. This special portion of the worship service will take place on Sunday, at the downtown location of FUMC. Kids in 1st through 6th grade will be observing this event, as this Sunday is a worship-with-your-family Sunday (including Communion). It is important that kids participate in such a momentous occasion – to see what they have to look forward to: claiming the name of “Christian” for themselves.

Prepare your kids ahead of time, and/or discuss the event afterwards. Here’s a question to talk about with your family:

Does completing Confirmation mean graduating from Sunday school?
A group photo of a past Confirmation class
Are we done now?

Absolutely not!

The Confirmation process is a major milestone in these young people’s journey of faith but it is by no means the end. Hopefully it has sparked more questions, such as…

  • Life doesn’t seem to be about me, me, me. What does it mean to be a “child of God?”
  • I’ve confessed Jesus Christ as my Savior. I put my whole trust in his grace… but why is there suffering in the world?
  • I’ve promised to serve him as Lord, but why am I here? Where do I fit in?

Do you have the answers?

The faith journey continues on!


Photo credits:
Confirmation photo by Patrick Gilly, used with permission.