by: kClare McKellaston
This weekend, a new group of confirmands began their program for 2018. This group of eight students, all around age 12, will spend just under five months together, with mentors and leaders, on their own spiritual journey. It's one of the few times we ask teenagers to come together with a specific mind to think about their religion and their faith, to develop and discuss their beliefs, and to share this process with one another. It's a unique and fantastic part of the Episcopal faith that attempts to set these young minds and souls on a path to knowing God further.
It's true that sometimes after Confirmation, these teenagers get the idea that they are "done." They tend to frequent church a little less. They get busy. They get jobs. They join teams and clubs. They go off to college.
This is where that phrase comes in: "I will, with God's help." Everything we do in faith formation--from telling the stories of our faith to learning about the Episcopal church and its amazing church government to sharing personal stories of faith and doubt to sharing community time together (sometimes doing things that aren't at all related to church!) to joining together in worship and Eucharist every week--everything we doequips them to know that one thing always remains true--you can, but you will need God's help. And God isn't always some ethereal prayer in the sky--sometimes God is the person who holds the door open for you when you've had a crummy day. Sometimes God is the child who invites you to play when your thoughts had turned so blue. Sometimes God is just a peaceful day with nothing really to do. A lot of times, God is the love you feel from the community around you--it looks a little like St. James the Less, I think! This is the faith that will stand by them in their lives. This is the faith that will shatter the doubt that will undeniably creep in. This is the faith that will make them yearn for a faith community throughout their lives, filled with loving people like they knew at St. James the Less, no matter where life takes them.
On May 14th at the 10am service, we will all witness the Confirmation of this class right here at St. James the Less with Bishop Jeffrey Lee presiding! It is a unique experience to have the service here. We will all renew our faith as we watch these eight confirmands confirm their baptismal covenant that welcomed them into this loving community. It will be a beautiful celebration of Christ here on Earth.
I am so grateful to the volunteers who are leading the Confirmation class this year--Matt Berry, Maureen Burke, Janice Herndon, John Stevens, Christoph Ritterson, Katherine Carini, and Paul Rose. They are mentoring eight GREAT students--John Osuna, Miguel Osuna, Zach Langhoff, Jeffrey Podjasek, Betsy Alcorn, Eve Shaver, Aidan Small, and Cole Sabia. This class is thoughtful, attentive, fun-loving, and brave. They are so intelligent, in fact, they found out more quickly than other classes have that I have not been confirmed (I would love to share this story with you as I have with them--please ask!), and they convinced me to do so this May alongside them!
If you are interested in being confirmed or reaffirming your faith--this would be a great year to do so! Join us by contacting Rev. Lisa Senuta.