We are making some changes to the confirmation process here at Holy Covenant UMC. These changes are to allow more opportunities for young people to participate in the confirmation process and to provide more age specific experiences. There may be some tweaking of the process as we get into the actual work but here is a brief overview of what hope to accomplish. For those who have already completed confirmation this will allow them to revisit material they may now have a better foundation to work form with or simply a chance to reconfirm themselves to a life of discipleship.
Freshmen: We will be in inviting our freshmen to participate in a one on one mentor curriculum called Making Disciples by Bishop Will Willimon. This will be a chance for these youth to engage in Christian conversation with an adult mentor as a part of the process of becoming young adults themselves who are growing in their faith. The goal of this time is to be more relational than informational. It has been said that faith is more caught than taught so we would like each young person to spend some time with and adult mentor. They will also read the book of Luke and write their own creed or belief statement. The plan is to start this Sept 18th. For each freshman wishing to participate we are asking to suggest three potential mentors you would like and we will approach them and designate a mentor.
8th Grade: We will begin meeting together on Sunday mornings at 8:30 for an hour prior to Sunday school on Sept 18th. We will meet for 8 or 9 weeks. We will focus on basic United Methodist history, doctrine, and polity. They will become familiar with the Book of Discipline as well. This section will be focused on information about the UMC. We will also discuss the process of discernment called the Wesleyan Quadrilateral.
7th Grade: We will begin meeting together on Sunday mornings at 8:30 for an hour prior to Sunday school on January 8th. We will meet for 8 or 9 weeks. The focus of this section will be discussion of key theological topics such as grace. We will also discuss worship, sacraments, and will have the youth participate in Sunday morning worship. We will discuss some of the various places we have taken them to worship over the years. (Every year we will visit a few different places to experience another religion or traditions worship. Youth in grades 6-9th are invited to all of these outings)
6th Grade: We will begin meeting together on Sunday mornings at 8:30 for an hour prior to Sunday school on March 26th. We will discuss what t confirmation is and what it means. We will look at how we are called to live as Christians and especially as United Methodists. We will discuss Wesley's three general rules for Holy living, their spiritual gifts, and what does it look like to share those in our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. We will have a service project we do together. (When we feel our high school is willing and able I would like to have youth mentor component where a 6th grader gets a "big brother or sister" as they enter youth to help them transition to youth from children's ministry and allow the high school to be a mentor as they are being mentored)
We will confirm and reconfirm on Pentecost, June 4 2017.
Basically the idea is in 6th grade to give them very concrete instruction as to how to live out the Christians faith. As they get older we give them a little more about the spiritual truths that direct that behavior in 7th grade. In 8th grade we give them an intro into information one should know as a United Methodist. And finally their freshman year they move from information and class setting to a personal mentor relationship and summing it all up in their own statement of belief.