“Youth experience both internal and societal changes. Leaders are called on to equip kids to navigate these changes and to encounter God during this time. We want to equip youth with practices that help them apply what they learn in confirmation to the multiple worlds they inhabit.”Jan Schnell Rippentrop, Lutheran School of Theology
The Confirmation Collaborative seeks to lift up best practices and hear from voices around our church. Our goal is to share best practices and learnings on a continuing basis to provide a living, breathing, and collaborative resource for the whole church. In the coming months we will be offering ways for you to contribute stories and ask questions. Different individuals from around the Episcopal Church who care deeply that “Confirmation will be available to engage with you. Remember, when done well, confirmation can be a life-changing experience for youth, parents, bishops, and all who participate in this ministry.
Stay tuned for a means to submit your questions and sign up to receive updates. For now, read or listen to these voices share how confirmation can make a difference “when done well.”
The Rt. Rev. Laura Ahrens from the Episcopal Church in Connecticut shares her thoughts (and experience) about confirmation.
The Episcopal Church is saying . . .
- In 2015 at the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, Resolution A080: Affirm Confirmation as Formation was adopted. How is your diocese and congregation living out this resolution?
- Debate Continues on Confirmation. It would seem the Anglican Church in New Zealand is also trying to determine the role of confirmation in their dioceses. Can we learn from this too?
- “Saving a Sacrament: The Future of Confirmation in the Episcopal Church” by Lisa Kimball
Youth are sharing . . .
- Confirm not Conform invited their confirmands to post confirmation class tweets every Sunday afternoon/evening. They are not pleasant to read (listen up leaders)!
- . . . or maybe they aren’t. Here is an interesting report from Pew Research on the impact parents have on teens (or not): “Religious Habits of U.S. Teens.”
Christian formation leaders offer suggestions . . .
- In the wake of social unrest (especially regarding Black Lives Matter), Forma put together a comprehensive resource of best practices for bringing youth (with adults) to a protest or march.
- Dorothy Linthicum, retired editor of Episcopal Teacher magazine offers “8 Questions to Ask Before Planning Confirmation Class.”
Culture is telling us . . .
- The Rev. Melissa Cooper, a deacon in the United Methodist Church posted a reaction to the Barna Group report of a study done on Generation Z – those born from 1999-2015 (the first of whom are just beginning high school). She offers the church some challenges and insights in Who is [Gen Z]? Let’s take a look . . . as to how we might engage this generation.
- Andrew Root, a professor at Luther Seminary and author of numerous books on youth ministry shares that Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s eight theses have a lot to teach Christians today, especially as we struggle to help young people hold on to their faith during the transition from adolescence to adulthood. At a time when many are concerned about the “rise of the nones” and young people “drifting away” from faith, Bonhoeffer has much wisdom to offer.
“Faith calls us not only to relish the uniqueness and individuality of our own lives but to delight in the diversity and individual value of all whom we meet. When we confirm, we confirm individuals in their own faith journeys.”Peter Marty, editor and publisher at The Christian Century