Confirmation Class Was Received April 24th
“Christians are made, not born,” said the third century theologian Tertullian. Following
Jesus Christ is not something that comes naturally, without faith, commitment, and
training. Confirmation is an historic means of helping to shape Christians. Today,
making Christians has become challenging work for the church. So many factors in
modern life seem to conspire against the church in its efforts to make disciples.
Confirmation in our church began last October for eighth grade students who chose
to participate. A gifted leadership team consisting of WPC Pastor Jill Paulson and
members Juli Beucher, Rob Nordeen, and Anthony Szot taught and guided the
process, with input from Christian Educator Kathy Gillmore and an adult WPC faith
partner for each confirmation class member.
I thought it would be helpful to share some information about the Presbyterian
understanding of this process. Confirmation has as its goal discipleship, helping form
people who more closely resemble disciples of Jesus Christ in their lifestyle, beliefs,
and values. Thus, we are more interested in our youth (and adults!) knowing and
following Christ than we are in them knowing “about” Christ.
On the one hand, “the life of the mind in the service of God” is important to
Presbyterian Christians. It is important to know what we believe and why we believe it.
A person who knows what he or she believes has a strength which others lack. On the
other hand, the Christian faith is much more than a mere “head trip.” It is a way of life
together. It is loving God with all our being – heart, soul, mind and strength – and loving
our neighbors as we love ourselves. The Christian faith involves the total person. It is
a personal experience and a relational experience.
Confirmation does not begin or end our growth as Christians. Our youth are already
“children of the covenant.” Confirmation is a major step but not the only step in one’s
life-long faith journey. Our prayer is that each of us, no matter how young or old, is
continuing to grow in the faith.
Those in this year’s confirmation class who professed their faith in Jesus Christ and
became active members of WPC on April 24 are:
Please keep them in your prayers as they and all of us seek to follow our Lord Jesus Christ.
Grace and peace,