A ministry of all

Pastoral Messages | September 22, 2016

It’s confirmation season at St. Paul!

The confirmation ministry of any church has several goals, but put most simply, we want to these kids to know that they are loved, so they can love God and love their neighbors as part of the community of faith.

In the Lutheran tradition, we’ve developed this program followed by a ritual that typically happens sometime around middle school. But the process of confirmation – the journey of living into all that God calls us to be – begins at baptism and continues well past 9th grade. We teach our confirmation kids a lot about the Bible and Christian faith for two years on Wednesday nights, but they really start getting what they need from the moment they’re born into a community of faith. The most important content doesn’t all come from the Bible or the Small Catechism.

Authentic faith isn’t just taught, it’s caught. And the way to catch it is to be exposed – early, often, and over a long period of time – to people who carry it. That means confirmation isn’t just a ministry of staff and volunteers who’ve signed up for the program. It’s a ministry of every single member of the church. When you smile at the baby in the pew in front of you, you’re part of confirmation. When you help a little one hold a hymnal or find his worship bag outside the sanctuary, you’re part of confirmation. When you let a kindergartner show you what she made in Sunday school or hang out with a 6th grader after choir practice, you’re part of confirmation. When you ask a 7th grader about their retreat at Camp Shalom or a high school student about their summer mission trip, you’re part of confirmation. I could go on, but you get the idea. Whenever you model love of God and neighbor for the countless young souls who are watching, you’re part of confirmation.

I hope we’ll see you at St. Paul for confirmation over these next few weeks, because the celebration downstairs in Fellowship Hall and upstairs in the Sanctuary isn’t just about the kids in red stoles. It’s about all of us, who are learning and teaching one another every day what it means to live in the light of God’s grace.

Ryan Bailey, director of faith formation

One comment on “A ministry of all”

  • Stella Herzig

    September 22, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    YES! love this, Ryan!

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