Confirmation is the educational ministry of the church whereby youth are given tools for living a life of faith that flows from their baptism. These tools include a familiarity with the Holy Scripture, an understanding of the Gospel through the Small Catechism, and a firsthand knowledge of the faith practices involved in living one’s calling in the world as a Christian. Confirmation is not just head knowledge but heart knowledge, which comes from their experience of Christian community with adults who love them and are willing to go on this faith journey with them.
At Messiah, confirmation is a three year process, beginning in the Fall of 7th grade and culminating in the Fall of 10th grade with the Affirmation of Baptism in the Rite of Confirmation. Worship is the heartbeat of the Christian life, and so we expect regular Sunday worship participation, and require the satisfactory completion of 55 worship notes before their confirmation day. Likewise service to others and Christian community are part of the Way of Christ, so we have annual retreats and other youth events, as well as including our confirmands in acolyting, and other opportunities to serve. Each Wednesday in class we share our highs, lows, and the ways we have served others, and send each youth off with a blessing.
The sequence of learning topics are:
Year A – Living Word (Old Testament overview)
Year B – Living Questions (with Martin Luther and the Small Catechism)
Year C – Living Faith (Vocation as a baptized child of God)
In the winter-spring of their third year, youth (normally in 9th grade) select faith mentors, journey through Lent and Holy Week with them. Over the summer between 9th and 10th grade, confirmands and mentors get together in pairs for a series of conversations on the intersection of Christian faith and life. Then in the Fall, they write a statement of faith and develop a specific discipleship focus or project to carry out after their confirmation.