My parents first met at church. Numerous of my family members have and still do sing in church choirs, serve on church committees, attend or teach Bible studies and classes, and participate in mission work. Church life is in my DNA.
Growing up we were at church every Sunday and most of the time we were there at least one other day during the week. It didn’t take too long before I knew the building like the back of my hand and knew all the staff, choir members, and many (though not nearly all, I grew up in a big church) others at Highland Presbyterian. It’s fair to say I grew up saturated in church.
Church was a place, a community, and a part of life for me. Like many Presbyterians I eventually was old enough to take part in confirmation, where I would name and claim Jesus and church for myself. It was an intentional step on my part, but the 15 years preceding the one year class had way more to do with my formation and confirmation than 9 months of sitting in a classroom for one hour a week and talking about faith, theology, and the Bible. Confirmation helped bring to the surface of my head and heart what was already in my blood and bones.
This fall we have a new group of students beginning the confirmation process at BPC. Like me and so many others, none of them are new to church and each of them have their own unique experiences of our community of faith. Over the next school year they will have the opportunity to think, pray, and question what it means to be Christian and what it means to be church. We’ll explore who God and Jesus are, what the Bible and church are, and what it looks like to live following Jesus as a member of the church.
Throughout the next several months I invite you to think about your own confirmation process, whether that was in an official class or an organic series of decisions you made about taking on the Christian faith for yourself. How has God built on that initial confirmation in the time since, stretching you, growing you, deepening your faith? And how has and is God using you to help stretch, grow and deepen the faith of others?
I urge your prayers for these students, that they may experience God and learn how Jesus is calling them to follow him. I urge your prayers for their parents and family as they continue to support and nurture their students. I urge your prayers for their confirmation mentors who will walk alongside these students over the coming months. Lastly I urge your prayers for myself and others who will lead and guide the confirmation process.
Confirmation is just the start of taking one's faith into one's own hands, it's the beginning of what will hopefully be a lifetime of following Jesus as part of the Church. It’s an exciting time and I look forward to the questions, curiosity, wisdom and insight our students will share over the next year.
To God be the glory!