by Candace Kostna – Family Ministry Coordinator
Faith formation is a life-long endeavour that began at our Baptism. When we were baptized, our parents, sponsors and faith community made promises to nurture us in a life of faith. Throughout our whole lives, we live as disciples of Jesus, we grow in our relationship with God, we develop an understanding of the Bible, we deepen our spiritual life and practices, we engage in service and mission to the world and we participate in the life of our faith community.
As our children grow in their teenage years, they reach the milestone to affirm the Baptismal promises of their parents, sponsors, and faith community and participate in our Confirmation ministry. In this phase of faith formation, youth start thinking about their faith – what they believe and why they believe it.
For the past three years, I have been coordinating and co-teaching our Confirmation ministry. Youth in Grades 7-10 attend classes over a four-year span (16 classes per year; in the fall and winter) and then participate in our Senior Confirmation Ministry in Grade 11.
This ministry is designed to support our youths’ growth and understanding in faith as they develop relationships within our faith community and reach the milestone of affirming their baptism. Over the last year and a half, we noticed that our class size was getting smaller which limits our youths’ experience of developing faith relationships as part of their learning. So, we started to explore opportunities to enhance our Confirmation ministry and reached out to neighbouring congregations in our synod. Through our conversations, we discovered that the Abundant Life and St. Luke’s Zion congregations were experiencing similar trends and were interested in working together to develop a Shared Confirmation Ministry.
Our Shared Confirmation Ministry with Abundant Life and St. Luke’s Zion began a couple of weeks ago. This new approach is an opportunity for our Grade 7-10 youth to develop relationships not only in our SPLC faith community, but also within our already shared youth ministry with these congregations. The shared leadership of the pastors, myself and Lisa (our Youth Coordinator) will enhance our youths’ faith learning experience. Each congregation will continue to have a separate Grade 11 Senior Confirmation ministry led by their pastor to prepare their youth to affirm their baptism on their home church’s Confirmation Sunday.
So how can we – SPLC’s faith community – be part of our Shared Confirmation Ministry?
Here’s how we can help and support our Confirmation students & our Shared Ministry:
- Say “hello” on Sunday morning
- Check out the weekly “This Week in Confirmation” posts on our Facebook page, Instagram feed and in the Family Space
- Ask them about their week during coffee fellowship – and share your stories!
- Invite and encourage them to be part of other ministries in our church
- Keep our Confirmation students and leaders in your prayers
Confirmation is not an education program in which one “graduates” from. It is a ministry that is part of one’s life-long faith formation journey. We do not stop growing in faith on our Confirmation Sunday – we continue to encounter the word and spirit of God as grow as disciples of Jesus for the rest of our lives.
Together we grow in faith!