By Matt Hein
Beginning with the 2014-2015 Confirmation year, the Confirmation process for the St. Luke Lutheran Church multisite be discipleship focused and relationally driven. It will bring together family and church in partnership.
The Confirmation Process Big Picture
Our goal is for each participant in the Confirmation process to:
- Engage Biblical content (Bible and Catechism)
- Practice spiritual disciplines (prayer, confession and forgiveness, etc.)
- Connect Biblical content and spiritual disciplines to natural life rhythms and events
- Receive and begin to use specific discipleship tools
- Enter into intentional discipling relationships
We know that faith formation happens best when family and church to partner together. We also know that discipleship happens through relationships. For these reasons we both invite and expect families to participate together. Our confirmation gatherings will include both students (Confirmands) and parents.
Faith formation happens best when family and church to partner together.
Because this kind of partnership takes commitment, we want to provide enough flexibility for families to journey through the process together during the Confirmation year that works best for them. Our process will therefore be a single Confirmation year (September to May).
Confirmation will also be open to students going into 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, as well as high school students who have yet to be confirmed. Toward the end of the Confirmation year, students will participate in the Rite of Confirmation during worship at their specific worshiping site.
By accomplishing the process in single academic year while opening the Confirmation process to wider age range, we want to foster discipling relationships within and among families.
If you have multiple children, consider choosing a confirmation year that will allow as many as possible to go through the process together. If you students have friends they would like to journey though confirmation with, get the families together to see which year works best.
We want the Confirmation year to build lasting faith relationships for the future.
This Year in Detail
The 2014-2015 Confirmation year will begin with a student only retreat on September 5-6, 2014 and be followed by gatherings throughout the year.
Approximately 20 of our Confirmation gatherings will occur on Wednesdays from 6-8pm at the St. Luke-Ann Arbor site. These gatherings will consist of a family meal followed by a time of teaching, family discussion with a table leader, and breakout activities.
In order to support families with multiple children, we will also provide other family programming at St. Luke-Ann Arbor on Wednesday evenings for children not participating in the confirmation process.
The All-Site Wednesday Evening Confirmation Gatherings begin at the St. Luke—Ann Arbor campus on Wednesday, September 10 at 6:00 PM. But families won’t formally covenant/commit to walking through the remainder of the Confirmation process until Wednesday, October 1, after three weeks of initial participation. In this way, families have a chance to experience Confirmation before fully committing to the process.
During the seasons of Advent (December) and Lent (February-March) our schedule will change. The Confirmation gatherings will happen in smaller groups outside of church to help make the connection between home and worship.
In addition to the September retreat, a spring retreat will be held toward the middle of May 2015.
Families provide some of the most important discipling relationships for every believer. But studies have shown the added benefits of having a non-family, non-church-worker support the faith walk of our youth. In order to provide this additional support and encouragement for students in the Confirmation process, each student will invite a spiritual mentor to journey through the process with them.
Mentors will not regularly attend gatherings, but will commit to praying for their mentee, checking in with them throughout the process, etc. A mentor will be post-high school, worship regularly at the same site as the student, and be committed to the student’s faith journey.
Is This the Year?
Perhaps you are praying about whether this is the right year for Confirmation? If so, use the following questions as part of your family conversation.
- How would you describe your family’s current faith journey?
- Why is it important that your family participate in the St. Luke Confirmation process?
- Why do you think that 2014-15 is the year for your family to journey through the St. Luke Confirmation process?
- Why do you want to follow Jesus more purposefully in your daily life?
- What does confirmation (confirming your faith) mean to you?
We are excited about how this process will shape and form everyone involved. If you have questions about the process, need more information, or want to discuss which year is the right year for your family to journey through the process together, don’t hesitate to contact Pastor Matt Hein, Minister of Discipleship at St. Luke-Ann Arbor at 734-971-0550.
Download a PDF of the Confirmation Calendar.