"Confirmation is an important marker along our spiritual journeys."
Although confirmation is not a sacrament in The United Methodist Church, it is an important marker along our spiritual journeys.
At baptism, we are initiated into the new covenant in Jesus Christ and membership in the Church, Christ’s body in the world. For many, this happens when they are very young.
We recognize children are members of their human families, but no one expects them to clean their rooms or empty the dishwasher until much later. In the same way, “baptized infants are members of the Church—the family of faith—but are not yet capable of sharing everything involved in membership,” By Water and the Spirit, The United Methodist Church’s official statement on baptism, teaches.
Confirmation is an opportunity to respond to the grace of God available to us, as acknowledged in baptism, and to promise to live as a person of faith. “What God offers us must be accepted in repentance and faith,” This Is Your Baptismal Liturgy states. “Confirmation and reaffirmation are our responses of commitment, profession of faith, and rededication.”
At What Age Can you Be Confirmed?
"...confirmation begins when youth enter their middle school years."
In many United Methodist congregations, preparation for confirmation begins when youth enter their middle school years. The middle school years (6th-8th grades) are when young people begin to move from concrete thinking to abstract thinking and is when many people begin to make lifelong faith decisions. During these middle school years youth are seeking a sense of belonging. Belonging to the community of faith is an appropriate response to that developmental task.
Specifically at Christ United Methodist Church, students are invited to begin the confirmation process in 8th Grade. However, this does not mean that confirmation is limited only to those in middle school. Individuals who never completed the comconfirmation process are invited and encouraged to participate. This includes high school students, college students, and adults.
Talk with a pastor to learn more about the timing and preparation for confirmation at Christ United Methodist Church.
What should I expect during confirmation classes?
"...imporant that young people get into the habit of attending
During confirmation, we strongly encourage confirmands to be present each week at the 9:45AM service at Christ United Methodist Church. We believe that it's important that young people get into the habit of attending worship while they are going through the confirmation program so that they will understand what is expected of them when they take their vows on Confirmation Sunday. Students may worship with their families or with their fellow confirmands in the student section.
Each week at 11AM, confirmands will meet in the youth building (103 Market St, CH) for confirmation class. These fun and interactive 1 hour classes will be lead by a member of our pastoral team. Through these classes, young people will claim the faith of the church, as they grow in their understanding of what Christians (specifically United Methodist Christians) believe value, and do. Confirmands are expected to bring a Bible, a pen, and their journal (journals will be given out at the first confirmation class) with them to each week.
For a complete listing of the class dates and topics please click here.
What if I miss confirmation classes?
"...we expect confirmands to attend all of the confirmation classes."
At Christ United Methodist Church, we believe confirmation is an important and vital part of a person's faith journey. As such, we maintain that those participating in confirmation should approach the process with high degree of commitment and seriousness. This means that we expect confirmands to make every effort to attend and actively participate in all of the confirmation classes.
However, at the same time we also recognize that we live in a very busy day and age for both parents and students. Navigating schedules for work, school, and extracurriclar activities can prove to be trying for even the most organized individuals. As such, we allow confirmands to miss up to 3 of the 13 confirmation classes.
When a confirmand is unable to attend a class, they are responsible for alerting pastoral leadership (generally the youth pastor) in advance of their absence. Additionally, confirmands are also responsible to schedule a "make up" date with a pastor to review and discuss the material they missed.
What is confirmation Sunday?
"...confirmands are asked to take the same vows of membership...that all who join are asked."
Typically, the confirmand kneels before the pastor who, along with parents, sponsors, and others, lays hands on her head. The pastor speaks words that are nearly identical to those said during the laying on of hands following baptism, “The Holy Spirit work within you that having been born through water and the Spirit, you may live as a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.”
Finally, confirmands are asked to take the same vows of membership in The United Methodist Church and their local congregation that all who join are asked.
Because our journey in the Christian faith is not intended to be a solo venture, throughout the service there are places for the congregation to participate. In different parts of the service, they renew their baptism vows, profess their faith together with the confirmands, promise to do all in their power to support these newest professing members, and with them renew their covenant to be the body of Christ for the world.
Confirmation Sunday is on June 9, 2019 at 9:45AM in the Christ United Methodist sanctuary. A light lunch will be served afterward for confirmands and their families.