Confirmation | The Dover Church
If you are wondering what this confirmation thing is all about, here is a brief description: The confirmation program at The Dover Church is not your normal “confirmation class.” Your daughters and sons will not be expected to memorize a bunch of ideas or regurgitate points of theological doctrine. Even though I have fond memories of doing just that back in 1978, I have found over the years here in Dover that such an approach does not connect with our youth. In short, I try to improve the experience every year so that confirmation is not just some ordeal your sons and daughters need “to go through,” but rather an opportunity for reflection, transformation, and connection.
My goals for the class are:
- We will examine our existing beliefs and how they impact our lives
- We will explore some core elements of Christian faith and see how they might impact our lives
- We will learn how to articulate our individual beliefs and think of ways to live them
- We will practice being Christian with each other – being nice, finding the good in each other, not clinging to our BFFs but welcoming each other
- We will learn some spiritual practices which the young people can try and see which ones are useful to them
- We will have fun
- We will celebrate life and each of our particular lives
- I will offer the young people a friendship with me so that I can be a resource for them in the years to come
Confirmation is traditionally an affirmation of baptism, in which the young people assent to the promises made at their baptism on their behalf by parents and godparents. Having said that, each confirmation class usually has a student or two, not previously baptized, who are baptized as part of confirmation. This process is a celebration of each of these beloved children.
An important feature of confirmation is the opportunity to develop a mentoring relationship with a faithful adult. Confirmands and mentors will share a few specific activities of their choice related to living a Christian life. Examples might be attending a Holy Week worship service, baking bread for communion, serving food in a soup kitchen, etc. Mentors will also attend one class with their confirmands to share their faith stories and reflect on shared activities. Mentors must be able to attend this class and Confirmation Day.
Confirmands will be asked to participate in the life of our church. Traditionally, they have helped lead the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services. I will also ask them to read, usher and greet on Sunday mornings and see if they have particular gifts which they can bring to the table. In the past, some of them have joined church leadership teams, sung in the choir, played instruments.
I look forward to going on this journey with your youth.
In Faith, Hope and Love,
the Rev’d Dr. C. Maxwell Olmstead - Pastor