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Confirmation at MLC

Youth Confirmation Program:

It is understood that some children and youth may wish to be baptized and/or confirmed whose parents/guardians are not church members, or are not interested in participating in the life of the Church, but do not object to you doing so. You are welcome. Your personal motivation will help you to achieve success, and we will support you every step of the way!

Confirmation begins at baptism and is lifelong!

When you brought your child to the font to be baptized, you promised to make a disciple of her/him/them by: bringing them up in a Lutheran-Christian home, bringing them to Sunday school and Church, participating as a family in church activities, telling them the faith stories of the Bible and teaching them how to read the Bible for themselves, teaching them the importance of prayer, and how to pray, especially the Lord's prayer, and teaching them the Creeds, those ancient witnesses of faith.

WHEN IT COMES RIGHT DOWN TO IT, NOTHING CAN BE ADDED TO HOLY BAPTISM. A life of growth and maturation in the faith flows from the sacramental waters. A person receives God's grace and the Holy Spirit at their baptism, being born again and becoming a member of the Church, the Body of Christ. Confirmation is a pastoral and educational ministry of the Church, which helps the baptized child to identify more deeply with the Christian community and participate more fully in its mission. Normally, sixth, seventh, and eighth graders participate in a three-year confirmation ministry of catechesis, community life, and service in preparation for the rite of the Affirmation of Baptism at the conclusion of the third year of study. The confirmation years are years of identity formation. Through reflection on the Bible and Martin Luther’s Small Catechism, students explore and reflect upon their Lutheran-Christian identity. In response to all the gifts that have been given to them in their baptism and through this community of worship, they are invited to affirm their faith at the conclusion of this ministry training on Confirmation Sunday.

Affirming one’s baptism is not a one-time act, but something that can and should be done at many points throughout our lives. The confirmation ministry consists in bringing to bear the fullness of the church’s life and mission upon the young person’s life so that affirmation may begin and continue.

Being confirmed is a response to God’s gift in Baptism. Your child is eligible to apply for the three year confirmation program if:  He/she/they is a sixth grader (or 11 yrs. old; if your child will turn 11 yrs. old in the fall, although due to their birth date they may be in the 5th grade, talk to pastor; older youth are eligible to apply for the confirmation program, too); and has attended services regularly since infancy, but for at least the previous three years. (If your family is new to the Christian faith and/or the Lutheran Church, Pastor will work with you and your "tween"/young teen or older teen to prepare her/him/them to join the confirmation program.)

Confirmation is a serious commitment. Parents/guardians, please consider the place your Christian faith holds in your family life and your current involvement in the life of the church. If you and your family are not already regularly attending Sunday school and church and participating in other activities, is the whole family excited or at least willing to start? Is the confirmand looking forward to Confirmation, or do they feel that they are being forced to go through the program because "We're Lutherans and that's what we do?" Discuss the requirements of the confirmation program with your child/children, and how it will impact any potentially conflicting activities, such as sports/cheer/Boy or Girl Scouts. Explain that the confirmation program deserves to be made a priority. As with anything, you get out what you put in.

The Program:

Confirmation class meets weekly for an hour (currently meeting on Zoom; masks are required for any in-person classes or activities; the church has masks if you don't have your own). If students have not already made their First Communion, the first several sessions will be about Holy Communion (Eucharist). (If for some reason a confirmand has not been baptized, they will receive additional instruction to prepare for that Sacrament.)

As touched on above, the course of study during the three years of preparation for confirmation will be the Bible, Luther's Small Catechism, Lutheran Living (a deeper exploration of important teachings such as Grace, the Cross, Law and Gospel, etc.), and the liturgical readings for the Church Year. Let us know if your child requires these materials in a format other than the printed word.

Confirmands will become familiar with the Creeds (Apostles and Nicene) and the Lord's Prayer (if they are able to memorize easily, that's always a nice thing; understanding is far more important). They will  continue learning and thinking about how Scripture relates to and impacts their modern lives.

Confirmands will be given other reading and writing assignments throughout the three year confirmation period. (If there are other ways of accessing and sharing their understanding of the material that better suit the confirmand's learning/communication style, Pastor is on board with that.)

If a student must miss a class session for a legitimate reason (illness, death in the family), Pastor would appreciate receiving advance notice, if at all possible, and ideally the session should be made-up before the next class.

Requirements: *

Confirmands are expected to attend Sunday School when it is in session and church regularly, as well as other scheduled services, such as, but not limited to, mid-week Advent and Lenten vespers services, Ash Wednesday and all Holy Week services, and at least one of the Easter services. Depending on your circumstances, especially with the on-going pandemic, attending via Zoom, when offered, and Livestream counts. If you are ill or think/know you've been exposed to COVID-19, you are encouraged to attend church via Facebook Live.  

Confirmands will have the opportunity to serve as acolytes throughout the year, including summer, assisting the pastor as needed during worship services (see Acolyte Handbook).

Confirmands will fully participate in worship as they are able (making the sign of the cross, praying, singing the hymns and making the appropriate responses in the liturgy, etc.)

Confirmands are encouraged to take part in other events and activities sponsored by the congregation as they are able, such as helping with fund raisers and work days, decorating the church for Advent, Christmas and Easter, etc., 

During their final year of Confirmation, a confirmand will choose their Bible verse and prepare their statement of faith. The latter is usually a written statement, but if another option better suits the confirmand, let Pastor know. The statement/expression of faith will be shared with the congregation at the Confirmation service in a way that's comfortable for them. 

It is up to the parents/guardians and confirmands to fulfill the requirements of the Confirmation program. Pastor and other teachers will encourage and help you as far as they are able with your cooperation, and will try their best to make any accommodations and adjustments to the program and the way classes are structured/conducted that you need to succeed. They will not nag or chase you down. 

Confirmands are strongly encouraged to choose a ministry, if they aren't already involved: There are many options. There are even vital "behind the scenes" roles if being front and center isn't your style.

* We will tailor the requirements to the confirmand as best we can. We want each one to feel comfortable, confident, and successful! We are each an important part of the body of Christ and vital to the mission and ministry of Markham Lutheran! 

Confirmation Sunday, May 31, 2021 (First Sunday back after lockdown)

Elizabeth with mom Amanda and Pastor